translated and edited by Brett Larner
On May 26, Rikuren announced that Beijing Olympics women`s marathon team leader Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) will compete in October`s World Half Marathon Championships in Brazil. Noguchi won the Sendai International Half Marathon earlier this month and expressed her interest in competing in the World Half following the Olympics.
Noguchi also announced that due to the recent earthquake in China she has cancelled her planned altitude training camp in Kunming, China. Noguchi will instead continue her training for the Olympics at an alternate location in Japan.
June`s Sapporo International Half Marathon is the last of the three domestic races Rikuren will use to select the five-member team for the World Half Marathon Championships. The top male and female Japanese finishers at March`s All-Japan Jitsugyodan Half Marathon and May`s Sendai International Half Marathon have already been named to the World Half team.
Translator`s note: Although the article does not explicitly name the World Half team members who have already been selected other than Noguchi, the top Japanese woman in the Jitsugyodan Half was Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), who broke Noguchi`s course record to win in a PB of 1:08:11. The top Japanese man in the Jitsugyodan Half was Tetsuo Nishimura (Team YKK), 3rd in 1:02:35, while the top Japanese man in Sendai was Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku) who ran a 3:34 PB to finish 2nd in 1:02:00.