The 2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships begin one week from today, and entry lists and a timetable are now available. As in past years, any athlete holding a World Championships A or B standard qualifying mark who wins his or her event will automatically be named to the national team for this summer's Berlin World Championships. Qualified athletes who do not win their event at Nationals will have to wait until the end of the qualification window later in the summer to find out whether they will be selected. A new element in this year's Championships is the inclusion of foreign-born athletes who reside in Japan, athletes who had in recent years been barred from taking part.
Some noteworthy details include:
- The absence of women's 10000 m national record holder and defending national champion Yoko Shibui. Shibui is running the marathon in Berlin but has been sidelined from competition all spring with injuries.
- Men's 400 mH national record holder and two-time World Championships bronze medalist Dai Tamesue is also sitting out the National Championships with a knee injury, meaning he will almost certainly miss his chance for a fifth-straight World Championships appearance.
- Men's 5000 m national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya is running only the 10000 m this year after doubling in the 5000 m and 10000 m in recent years.
- Mizuho Nasukawa, whose outstanding win in the Tokyo Marathon in March was not considered in selecting the marathon team for Berlin, is surprisingly running the 3000 mSC after saying she hoped to run the 5000 m.
- Men's marathon team member Atsushi Sato and women's marathoners Yukiko Akaba, Yuri Kano and Yoshiko Fujinaga will run the 10000 m. Akaba is also on the entry list for the 5000 m.
- Naoki Tsukahara, the only athlete of non-African ancestry to make the men's 100 m semifinal and a member of the bronze medal-winning 4x100 m relay team in the Beijing Olympics last summer, will focus on only the 100 m despite being qualified for the 200 m. His Beijing relay teammate Shinji Takahira will double.
- Yu Mitsuya, one of the most promising young male distance runners in Japan, is absent after an outstanding spring.
June 25, 5:25 p.m. - Men's 3000 mSC
June 25, 5:40 p.m. - Men's 5000 m
June 25, 6:15 p.m. - Women's 10000 m
June 26, 4:45 p.m. - Men's 800 m
June 26, 5:00 p.m. - Women's 3000 m SC
June 26, 5:15 p.m. - Women's 1500 m
June 26, 5:30 p.m. - Women's 100 mH
June 26, 5:40 p.m. - Women's 200 m
June 26, 5:50 p.m. - Men's 200 m
June 27, 4:55 p.m. - Men's 110 mH
June 27, 5:10 p.m. - Women's 400 mH
June 27, 5:20 p.m. - Men's 400 mH
June 27, 5:35 p.m. - Women's 5000 m
June 28, 4:50 p.m. - Women's 800 m
June 28, 5:05 p.m. - Men's 1500 m
June 28, 5:20 p.m. - Women's 400 m
June 28, 5:30 p.m. - Men's 400 m
June 28, 5:40 p.m. - Women's 100 m
June 28, 5:50 p.m. - Men's 100 m
June 28, 6:05 p.m. - Men's 10000 m
(c) 2009 Brett Larner
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