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Takaoka to Try for Comeback at Ome Marathon

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20080124-OHT1T00032.htm

translated by Brett Larner

On Jan. 23 the organizing committee of the Ome Marathon* announced the elite field for this year's 42nd running on Feb. 3. Headlining the men's 30 km race is Japanese marathon national record holder Toshinari Takaoka (37, Team Kanebo). In the women's race, last year's World Road Running Championships competitor Akane Taira (25, Team Panasonic) will take part. The guest starter for the 30 km will be course record holder Toshihiko Seko (51, Team S&B). 20000 people entered this year's race.

Having failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics with a disappointing 10th place finish at December's Fukuoka International Marathon, Takaoka will be trying to launch a comeback. Before running a spring marathon, either in Japan or overseas, Takaoka decided to tackle Ome. "If I can win here it will give me renewed strength and confidence," Takaoka told reporters. He was scheduled to run in the 2003 Ome but withdrew with an injury to his right leg. "I've wanted to run this race ever since then."

Seko set the course record of 1:29:32 in the 1981 edition of the race, a mark still waiting to be broken.

*Translator's note: The Ome Marathon is actually a 30 km race.

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