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President 39th Oita International Wheelchair Marathon Governor of Oita Prefecture Katsusada Hirose

日本一のおんせん県おおいた 味力も満載

Having begun in 1981, the International Year of the Disabled, as the world’s first marathon event only for wheelchair users, the Oita International Wheelchair Marathon has grown and developed to become the world’s greatest race, officially sanctioned by World Para Athletics, with a total of 11,828 wheelchair athletes from both inside and outside Japan accumulating numerous impressive moments throughout its history.

The 40th Anniversary Event last year was the first international parasports event to take place after the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games, and with a total of 131 athletes including four invited from three different countries, we were able to hold the race as an international event for the first time in two years. Amidst concern about the spread of Covid-19 and as a result of effective infectious disease countermeasures, we were able to realize a safe and secure race without a single infected person being confirmed among all the athletes and persons concerned.

In addition, due to the newly revised, primarily straight and flat course, Marcel Hug of Switzerland set a new world record in the fastest class of the men’s marathon, and many heated battles fitting for this pivotal race took place in all the classes. The anniversary event turned into a moving experience shared by the athletes, of course, as well as the supporting enterprises and organizations, the volunteers, and the people of Oita Prefecture.

Appropriate infectious disease countermeasures will be in place again at the 41st Event this year, and we are striving to put on a race where, not giving in to Covid, the athletes will race their hardest and the volunteers, the spectators, and the many other persons concerned will be able to participate safely. We hope new bonds of friendship beyond nationality, gender, and age will be created in Oita.

Autumn 2022. An impressive stage awaits you in Oita, the birthplace of parasports in Japan. We look forward to seeing you here!

Katsusada Hirose
President
41st Oita International Wheelchair Marathon
Governor of Oita Prefecture

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