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Liu, Asahara, Kobayashi and More on the Schedule for Osaka Grand Prix

by Brett Larner

An international field including famed Chinese 110 m hurdler Xian Liu, Helsinki World Championships 400 m hurdler silver medalist James Carter of U.S.A., Paris and Edmonton World Championships 100 m bronze medalist Chandra Stirrup of Bahamas, and Helsinki World Championships 400 m bronze medalist Christine Amertil, also of Bahamas, will take part in the IAAF Japan Grand Prix in Osaka this Saturday, May 10.

Hosts Japan will field a team including star sprinter Nobuharu Asahara, top hurdler Dai Tamesue, women`s 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi, and women`s long jump national record holder Kumiko Ikeda. Athens Olympics discus gold medalist Koji Murofuji will be appearing as an honorary participant.

Of particular interest to distance running enthusiasts will be the appearance in the men`s 1500 m of former Hakone Ekiden stars Yuichiro Ueno, formerly of Chuo University and now running for Team SB Shokuhin, and Yuki Matsuoka, formerly with 2007 Hakone winners Juntendo University and now running for Team Otsuka Seiyaku. Both runners graduated in March and debuted as professionals last month. Also listed to start in the 1500 m is Team Chugoku Denryoku's Yasuhiro Tago, who suffered injuries after falling and being trampled by a number of runners in the 1500 m at last Sunday`s Cardinal Invitational at Stanford University.

The Osaka Grand Prix will be broadcast nationwide and commercial-free on NHK starting at 3:05 p.m. A complete list of entrants is available at: http://www.osaka-sports.gr.jp/events2/gp2008/2008gp_athlete.html

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
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