November 6, 2018 5:19 PM +0900(JST) |

Sumitomo Athletics Festa

On October 21, we held the 7th annual Sumitomo Athletics Festa at the Sumitomo Sogo Ground in Itami, Hyogo. In the morning, we conducted an athletics workshop, with coaching provided by Mr. Yuzo Kanemaru (athlete from Otsuka Pharmaceutical) and Mr. Shinji Aoto (coach from Chukyo University) for elementary school and junior high school students, and a health promotion event for the general public. In the afternoon, we held the Sumitomo Electric Cup, a meet that focused on setting new Japanese records.

At the athletics workshop
At the athletics workshop
Athletes competing in 200-m hurdles
Athletes competing in 200-m hurdles

This year's Athletics Festa Marked its 7th anniversary, and was the second time for me to attend, following the previous year. It was again amazing to directly see athletes sprinting in front of me, and experience their astonishing speed, long strides and powerful performance using their entire bodies. I was so excited that I was cheering the athletes loudly before I knew it.

In this meet, a wide variety of events are held that seldom take place in normal competitions, such as 60-m sprint, 300-m sprint, and 200-m hurdles, and 4x200-m relay, giving the event a fun perspective. Unfortunately, no new Japanese records were set this year, but many competitors recorded personal best times. As a member of the event organizer, I'm extremely proud.

In the 3,000 meters, an open race for the general public, I found an elementary school boy. Since he was as short as the waist of an adult, I wondered if he could complete the race. But actually he continued demonstrating excellent performance with all his strength until the very end, impressing me deeply. Accompanied by Mr. Kazuki Tamura of our athletics club at the end of the race, he successfully finished with a time of about 15 minutes. His grit raised my expectation that he would become an excellent athlete in the future.

Delivering an opening address
Delivering an opening address

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to all the athletes and coaches who did their best; those who ran the event, including members of the Kansai Industrial Track & Field Association and others concerned with athletics; Itami City and the Board of Education of Itami City; companies that provided support for the event; and all our employees who supported the event behind the scenes. I am grateful for their commitment to making the Festa a truly wonderful event again this year.