Nagoya Marathon Cancelled, Runners Stranded

The marathon had previously been held every year since 1980.

Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami has led to the cancellation of the 32nd Nagoya Women’s Marathon in Japan. Unfortunately many elite athletes who planned to race are now stranded in Japan. Rose Nyangacha of Kenya is one such runner who expressed her disappointment with the situation. “After putting in so much to prepare for this race, I cannot compete, not because of an injury or mistake of my own, but because of a natural catastrophe, it is bad,” she said. “There is no compensation for me.”

Nyangacha’s agent, Stephen Mayaka, says many other athletes are in the same predicament and he has no idea when they will be able to return to their home countries. “Everything is happening so fast and nobody knows what will come next,” he said.

Mayaka, a former Kenyan now a Japanese citizen and an assistant coach to the Japanese national cross-country squad, is also pessimistic about the chances of his team being able to compete in the World Cross-Country Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain on March 20.

“We are due to leave here on March 16, but nothing is confirmed yet following this earthquake. So we will wait and see what they top officials of athletics say,” he said.

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