38th Oita International Wheelchair Marathon
Governor of Oita Prefecture
The Oita International Wheelchair Marathon was first held in 1981 in commemoration of the International Year of Disable Persons as the world’s first international marathon event only for wheelchair users. The race is now officially recognized by World Para Athletics, with athletes participating from inside and outside Japan and also with world records for both men and women, and has become the highest–level competition in the world.
At the 37th event last year, there were a total of 224 athletes from 15 countries and from 31 prefectures around Japan. Unfortunately, however, we had no choice but to cancel the race for the first time in its history due to the bad weather by the approach of the typhoon. Presently, we are doing our best to prepare for the coming race to be held after two years, welcoming all of you in perfect conditions.
Through the wheelchair marathon, one of the severest sports, the para athletes pushing their limits will give deep inspiration and courage not only to the spectators cheering along the course but to the many people in the world beyond generations with much hope.
I sincerely hope that this year’s event will be a heated race filled with excitement and drama, nurturing international friendship, and that through the promotion of para sports, we will be able to realize a society in which all people, both those with impairments and those without, will be able to live rich, fulfilling lives together.
I look forward to seeing you as autumn deepens in Oita, the number one hot spring prefecture in Japan.