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11 MAR 2015

Japan

Vol.80

Otsuka’s Mai Ito Selected to Run IAAF World Championships in Athletics

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Mai Ito running in the Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2015, one of Japan’s qualifying events for the World Championships in Athletics

Ms. Mai Ito, a member of the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Track & Field Team, has been selected to represent Japan in the women’s marathon event at the 15th IAAF World Championships in Athletics to be held in Beijing.
The marathon will be on August 30, 2015. This will be her second time to compete in the World Championships in Athletics, after participating in the 2011 competition.

Top 2 in Nagoya Women’s Marathon paved the way

At the Nagoya Women’s Marathon, a qualifying event for Japan’s national team going to the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Ms. Ito finished with a personal best time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, 42 seconds.

Despite this excellent result Ms. Ito said, “Not achieving my goal of placing first among the Japanese runners was frustrating.” At the World Championships in Athletics, she is aiming to be the best runner from Japan, and after that, to make a mark on the world stage.

“To accomplish that, I want to properly build on my training starting now, so I can give it my all at the World Championships,” she said, expressing her aspirations going forward.


Marathon runner Ms. Mai Ito (right) and team coach Mr. Tadasu Kawano (left) appeared at a press conference held on March 11, 2015

Mai Ito’s journey to being selected for the World Championships

Being highly ambitious and training for competitions based on a scientific approach is a key feature of the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Track & Field Team. Upon hearing that Ms. Mai Ito would compete in the World Championships in Athletics as she had hoped, team coach Mr. Tadasu Kawano commended her: “She is an athlete who always aspires to go higher, and is keenly aware of what it takes to compete—that attitude is her strength.”


Ms. Ito ordinarily works at the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory, where she is involved in quality control procedures. Her main duties include handling documents and inspecting product appearance. As an employee of a pharmaceutical company, Ms. Ito has an important role in ensuring that high-quality products are provided to patients and consumers who care about maintaining good health.

Regarding the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Track & Field Team she said, “I can train for competitions with a lot of motivation because the team provides me with an environment that helps me become stronger.” The team helps Ms. Ito perform at her best by managing her physical condition based on various kinds of data and by making use of scientifically-based products.

25 Years of Track & Field Team History

The Otsuka Pharmaceutical Track & Field Team was founded in 1990. As a basic principle, it strives to develop athletes so they can succeed not only in Japan but also internationally. As of April 2015, it consists of a men’s team of 17 athletes (including the team coach, who is also a member), a women’s team of 10 members, and a staff of eight. It is based in Naruto City, Tokushima Prefecture, which is the birthplace of the Otsuka Group.


Men’s teamWomen’s team

In the past, the team’s members have competed in international tournaments, including some of the world’s most competitive marathons. In Japan, the members of the men’s team regularly participate in the country’s premiere running events, such as the New Year Ekiden, while members of the women’s team compete in long-distance events like relays and race walking.