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Nittadai 10000m: Akaba Runs Olympic A-Standard PB, Fukushi Cancels to Avoid Media

Hot on the heels of recovering from childbirth to defeat Catherine Ndereba in the International Chiba Ekiden last month and finish 2nd to 10000 m national record holder Yoko Shibui on the 10 km anchor leg of last week`s All-Japan Jitsugyodan Women`s Ekiden, Yukiko Akaba of Team Hokuren ran 31:23.27 in the women`s 10000 m at the Nittadai Track and Field Meet in Yokohama on Dec. 23 to meet the Beijing Olympics A standard of 31:45:00. This performance broke Akaba`s PB by 30 seconds. "I ran within myself," commented Akaba after the race. "I will do it again next year at the Olympic Trials."

Kayoko Fukushi of Team Wacoal, who is scheduled to run the Osaka International Marathon in January next year, was entered in the 10000 m at the Nittadai meet but did not run. Team Wacoal coach Tadayuki Nagayama stated that Fukushi did not attend the meet in order to avoid the stress of being bothered by news media in the wake of her announcement on Dec. 18 that she will debut in the marathon in Osaka. Nagayama went on to say that Fukushi has not really trained specifically for the marathon yet, only having run one 30 km practice run so far, and that while they will do what they can in the month remaining before the marathon people should not get their hopes up.


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