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Team USA participates in first international RunJumpThrow


NARITA, Chiba -- Team USA had a full day of festivities Monday, as members of the delegation training in Narita were treated to meeting the track and field fans in Narita, as well as joining 180 elementary school students in the first ever international edition of RunJumpThrow. Wrapping up the day was a gift exchange and press conference with the governor of Chiba Prefecture, along with the mayors of Narita, Inzai City, Sakura City and the head of Juntendo University.

The morning began with two and a half hours of open practice at Nakadai Sports Park, as a crowd of over 100 braved morning storms rolling through the Narita area to watch Team USA take to the practice track. Over 40 media came to document the open practice, and fans stayed after practice to meet Team USA after the official training camp team picture and autograph session.


Next was the chance to witness the first RunJumpThrow on international soil. Nearly a year after its inception and over 100,000 children reached, USATF has taken the program to new heights with today’s RunJumpThrow experience, as 20 athletes and staff took part in the day’s festivities. The program began with the traditional Radio Taiso, the way Japanese children begin every day. Then athletes and volunteers separated into six different stations to teach the burgeoning young athletes the fundamentals of track & field.


The day concluded with a press conference, where gifts were exchanged between our hosts, team leader and four-time Olympian Aretha Thurmond, and athletes Kerri Gallagher, Natasha Hastings, Sam Kendricks, Jenna Prandini and David Verburg. The athletes all discussed their time and training in Narita, and expressed their gratitude for the city’s kindness, generosity and giving spirit.


Many members of Team USA depart shortly for Beijing, but the time spent in Narita will not soon be forgotten and the preparation it has provided for the athletes, coaches and staff will be of the utmost importance as the U.S. looks to perform at its best at the IAAF World Championships.

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