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Marathon accommodating blind runners held in east Japan after pandemic hiatus

TSUCHIURA, Ibaraki -- The 32nd Kasumigaura Marathon & International Blind Marathon was held here for the first time in three years on April 17, after the event was canceled for two years in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Runners pack the street as they set out at the start of the 32nd Kasumigaura Marathon & International Blind Marathon, in this photo taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter in the city of Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, on the morning of April 17, 2022. (Mainichi/Natsuki Nishi)

    A total of 8,926 people took part in the event, which included categories for the blind and people with low vision, as well as a walking category. The race started and finished at J:COM Field Tsuchiura in the city of Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.

    Yuko Arimori, 55, a two-time Olympic women's marathon medalist in the 1992 Barcelona Games and the 1996 Atlanta Games, encouraged runners in her role as charity ambassador for the event.

    The major meet was sponsored by the Tsuchiura Municipal Government and the Kasumigaura Municipal Government, also in Ibaraki Prefecture, as well as The Mainichi Newspapers Co., Sports Nippon Newspapers, and other entities.

    (Japanese original by Shigemi Niwaki, Tsuchiura Local Bureau)

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