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Relay for reconstruction crosses finish line

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Runners cross the finish line of “1000km Relay to Tokyo 2019” at Komazawa Olympic Park in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, on Wednesday.

The Yomiuri ShimbunA relay event aimed at supporting reconstruction from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake wrapped up this week at Komazawa Olympic Park in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo.

“1000km Relay to Tokyo 2019” set off from Aomori on July 24, marking just one year until the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. About 1,800 runners and cyclists followed the 1,326-kilometer course that traveled through areas including the disaster-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.

About 200 runners crossed the finish line on Wednesday, the final day of the relay, including Naoko Takahashi, the gold medalist in the 2000 Sydney Olympic women’s marathon.

Organized by the Tokyo metropolitan government and other entities, the relay has been held annually since 2013. This year’s event was the last.

“Let’s maintain our hope for reconstruction,” said Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, who received Takahashi’s relay sash after she crossed the finish line.

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