Sunday, July 6, 2008

Chisato Fukushima Selected as First Women`s 100 m Olympian in 56 Years

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20080706-00000027-yom-spo
http://www.47news.jp/CN/200807/CN2008070601000467.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On July 6 Rikuren announced that it has added women`s 100 m runner Chisato Fukushima (20, Hokkaido HiTec AC) to the Beijing Olympic team. Fukushima will become the first Japanese woman to compete in the Olympic 100 m since Ayako Yoshikawa ran in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.

Fukushima broke the Olympic B-standard of 11.42 with her national record-tying 11.36 mark at April`s Oda Memorial Meet. Although she won June`s National Track and Field Championships, Fukushima was not initially selected for the team as she did not meet the Olympic A-standard. In light of her victory at today`s Nambu Memorial Meet in Hakodate, Hokkaido, Rikuren reversed its decision and added her to the Olympic team lineup.

Fukushima reacted to the news of her Beijing ticket by saying, "It hasn`t really hit me that it`s real yet. I would be honored to be the trigger for a new era in Japanese women`s sprinting."

Women`s long jumper Kumiko Ikeda (Team Suzuki) set a meet record of 6 m 70 cm to qualify for Beijing team, and men`s high jumper Naoyuki Daigo (Team Fujitsu) also made the Beijing team with his 2 m 21 cm victory. Men`s sprinter Yoshihiro Horigome (Team Fujitsu) was named to the men`s 4 x 400 m team after winning the 400 m. Women`s 400 m runner Asami Tanno (Team Natureal) ran 52.94 to set her second straight meet record but missed the Olympic A-standard of 51.55 and was not named to the Olympic team.

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