MCHC signs sponsorship agreement with para-athletes ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC) and The KAITKEI Institute (TKI) announce a partnership agreement with para-athletes Atsushi Yamamoto and Kaede Maegawa for the development of prosthetic legs and technology development.

LETTING GO OF THE CONCEPT OF “DISABILITY”

In 2016 TKI launched a KAITEKI Team with the purpose to “dispell the concept of a disability”. Since then, the team, together with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and Tokyo University, has worked to build optimal design technology for tools customized to fit the individual  para-athlete. Through the partnership with Yamamoto and Maegawa, Japan’s leading prosthetic wearing para-athletes, MCHC and TKI hope to further evolve prosthetic legs and develop technologies that will respond to the sensitivity of the athlete wearing it.

THE “DIGITAL ATHLETE”

In order to optimize the prosthetic, one must consider how the performance of the equipment may cause an athlete to unknowingly adjust their movements to compensate. Especially in sports with artificial legs, the movement of the healthy leg (the leg without the prosthetic) is also important.  To measure how changes in the prosthetic affect athlete performance, the team built a simulation model called “digital athlete” to calculate the prosthetic shape that will maximize an individual’s performance by allowing them to run repeatedly over and over again on a computer without danger of fatigue.

MEET THE  ATHLETES

Kaede Maegawa

Kaede Maegawa is a leg amputee athlete from Tsu City, Japan. She was involved in a traffic accident in 2012, resulting in the amputation of her right leg, below the knee. A former basketball player, her coach recommended para-sports to her as part of rehabilitation after her accident. She represents Japan in the T 42 100m and T42 long jump events. Maegawa also has her own para-sports fashion line and participates in fashion shows. In January, she was selected to be a torch bearer for the 2020 Paralympic games.

Atsushi Yamamoto

Atsushi Yamamoto is a leg amputee athlete from Shizuoka, Japan. His left leg was amputated, below the knee, follow a motorcycle accident in 2000. As an athlete representing Japan, Yamamoto mainly competes in categories of T42 sprint and long jump events. He has a total of two silver medals in long jump won during the 2008 and 2016 Paralympics and a bronze medal in the T42-47 4×100 m relay from the 2016 Paralympic games. Additionally, he competed in snowboarding at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongyang.