translated and edited by Brett Larner
The entry lists for the 27 teams competing in the 6-stage, 42.195 km All Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden, to be held Dec. 14 in Gifu Prefecture, were announced on Dec. 1. Leading 7-time champion Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo are Beijing Olympians Yoko Shibui (10000 m) and Reiko Tosa (marathon).
2007 runner-up Team Daiichi Seimei will field Yoshimi Ozaki, winner of November's Tokyo International Women's Marathon and the first woman to secure a place on the Japanese national team for the 2009 Berlin World Championships marathon.
Two-time 2nd place and three-time 3rd place finisher Team Tenmaya's squad will include Beijing Olympics marathoner Yurika Nakamura, Beijing Olympic marathon team alternate Tomo Morimoto, and Athens Olympics marathon 7th place finisher Naoko Sakamoto.
Other Beijing Olympians on the entry list include 5000 m and 10000 m team members Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) and Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren). Sakura A.C., the training camp run by coach Yoshio Koide, will send two teams, Toyota Jidoshoki and Aruze. 2007 Tokyo Marathon winner Hitomi Niiya will lead Team Toyota Jidoshoki, while her training partner and 2008 Hokkaido Marathon winner Yukari Sahaku will be the top Japanese member of Team Aruze.
Start lists for the ekiden will be announced Dec. 13.