translated and edited by Brett Larner
After running 2:11:34 at age 19 at last year's Tokyo Marathon to become the fastest-ever Japanese marathoner under 20, Aoyama Gakuin University third-year Yuta Shimoda has withdrawn from this year's Tokyo Marathon on Feb. 26 due to pain in his right knee. Shimoda was set to try for the London World Championships men's marathon team in Tokyo, whose organizers made the announcement of his withdrawal on Feb. 7.
Shimoda won the Hakone Ekiden Eighth Stage on Jan. 3 to help Aoyama Gakuin claim the overall title, his second-straight Hakone stage win. On Jan. 15 he did a 2:27:35 marathon time trial on the last day of a three-day marathon training camp conceived by Aoyama Gakuin head coach Susumu Hara, 49, but after running the anchor stage of the National Men's Ekiden a week later on Jan. 22 he began to experience pain in his right knee.
Shimoda will not run the final London selection race, the Mar. 5 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, instead of Tokyo. "We can't afford to put his future at risk by overdoing it," said Hara. Aoyama Gakuin third-year Yuki Nakamura will still run Tokyo, with fourth-year Tadashi Isshiki running Lake Biwa and third-year Shunpei Oda running the Mar. 5 Shizuoka Marathon.