Although this topic might be somewhat secondary to our main business, as the honorary chairperson of the OB association for our athletics club, I would like to take this opportunity to promote the club. In the midst of the London Olympics, I hope that you will enjoy reading this article.
As officially announced on July 23, we decided to accept a total of six members, one coach and five athletes, from SUMCO’s athletics club, a top-ranking company athletics team from the Kyushu region. They were transferred to Sumitomo Electric effective August 1, 2012. All the athletes are excellent marathon or 10-mile runners, including Mr. Noritaka Fujiyama, who marked a time of under 2 hours and 13 minutes in the Tokyo Marathon held this February. At the New Year Ekiden, an annual road running relay broadcast on TV on New Year’s Day, our athletics club has always been just one step away from moving into the final race of the championship. However, the participation of these new members with excellent records has now drastically increased the possibility that we will achieve one of our targets?our athletics club’s making its debut in the final of the New Year Ekiden.
Meanwhile, our athletics club now has many talented sprinters. Although unfortunately no members of our club qualified for the London Olympic Games, Mr. Yusuke Kotani, a 100-meter sprinter, and Ms. Airi Ito, a 100-meter hurdler, are competent enough to appear in next year’s World Athletics Championships to be held in Moscow. I hope that they will continue to practice hard.
In the field of jumping, Mr. Kyosuke Ogawa, a long jumper, recorded his personal best at the competition held by Hyogo Athletics Association in July, and won the championship.
Recently we have renovated the athletics track at the Sumitomo Multi-Purpose Sports Field located near our Itami Works, equipped it with an all-weather track and donated the sports field to Itami City. The sports field is used not only by employees of the Sumitomo Group, but also by a local school for physically and mentally disabled students, as well as by junior high school students participating in athletics practice programs. The donation was to celebrate the 70th anniversary of our Itami Works and to contribute to the local community. Although the members of our athletics club once needed to go to a ground in Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture after work to do their training, they are now able to practice at the Sumitomo Multi-Purpose Sports Field near the Itami Works, marking a considerable improvement to their training environment.
Although I cannot mention all the members of our athletics club here, I hope that each one of them will set their own goals and timeline to achieve those goals and make steady progress in their training.
I also hope that you will support not only the Sumitomo Electric Group, but also our athletics club.