• Kyodo News


Toshinari Takaoka, the men’s marathon national record holder, said Monday he will retire and pursue a coaching career.

Takaoka, 38, who is also a former national record holder in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, will run his last race at the Tokyo Marathon next Sunday before joining the coaching staff at the Kanebo athletics team in April.

Takaoka clocked 2 hours, 6 minutes, 16 seconds in finishing third in the 2002 Chicago Marathon and the time still stands as a Japanese record.

He made two Olympic appearances in track races, including a seventh-place finish in the 10,000 at the 2000 Sydney Games, but his Olympic bid in marathon came up short.

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