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Accident mars Ishigaki Marathon, runner injured

Date Posted: 2003-01-31

A runner was injured in a rare accident during the Ishigaki Full Marathon on Sunday. The marathon was the first such race organized by Ishigaki City.

Organizers say Chiyohi Miura, 24, a runner from Iwate Prefecture, was running in second place at the 34-kilometer-point of the race, about one kilometer behind the first-place runner, when a car approached him from behind. The car was in the right lane and the runner in the left lane that was separated from the rest of the road. When the driver attempted a left turn, he struck Miura from behind. Miura fell and suffered a broken leg.

A race official in a safety car had moved to a position in front of the top runner just moments before. The official said that he had moved ahead because was straight, and he considered it to be safe. “From my position in front of the top runner I could see the car approaching, but I could never imagine that the car would hit the runner from behind in such clear circumstances,” the official said.

The chairman of the Marathon Organizing Committee, Chosho Ohama, said the organizers are cooperating with the police to try to determine what went wrong. “I am truly sorry for the accident. With the investigation incomplete, I can’t say whether our safety officials made a mistake or if it was simply a freak accident,” Ohama stated after the race.

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