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Marathoner Inoue Gets World Championships Sendoff From Alma Mater

A local school in Isahaya, Nagasaki held a sendoff on July 16 for marathoner and alumnus Hiroto Inoue ahead of next month's London World Championships. Speaking with determination Inoue told attendees, "As a member of the national team my run will bring no shame."

The sendoff ceremony took place in the principal's office at Inoue's alma mater, Iimori Nishi Elementary School. Local elementary and junior school students gathered along with members of the area residents' association to give Inoue their support and best wishes. Inoue received a ceremonial board on which current Iimori Nishi students had written messages of encouragement.

Inoue then went outside to speak to a crowd of local residents about his ambitions for his first World Championships, telling them, "As a member of the national team I will do my best to bring you no shame, so please cheer for me." He then signed autographs and took pictures with waiting children. One fifth grade boy who got Inoue's autograph said, "It's really exciting to know that there's a world-class athlete here in our town. I can't wait to cheer him on!"

An area woman commented, "I used to see him running near the school all the time when he was a kid. It's surprising to see that he's come this far. I hope he will do his best competing at the world level." The World Championships start on Aug. 4. The marathon in which Inoue will compete is scheduled to take place on the third day of the championships, Aug. 6.

source article: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/lnews/nagasaki/5035189721.html
translated by Brett Larner

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