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Akaba and Sato to Lead World Half Marathon Team

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/other/090706/oth0907061745029-n1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

On July 6 Rikuren announced the names of the five men and five women who will make up the Japanese national team for this year's World Half Marathon Championships to be held on Oct. 11 in Birmingham, U.K. Leading the men's team is Beijing Olympics and Berlin World Championships marathoner Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku), the half marathon national record holder. The women's team will be headed by Berlin World Championships marathon medal favorite Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), a double Beijing Olympian on the track. For all the athletes chosen for the team, the World Half represents the next step in their careers.

2009 World Half Marathon Championships Team Lineup
Men
Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku)
PB - 1:00:25 (Udine '07) - NR
2nd, Jitsugyodan Half Marathon '09 - top Japanese
9th, Sapporo Int'l Half Marathon '09 - top Japanese
Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota)
PB - 1:01:41 (Jitsugyodan '09)
4th, Jitsugyodan Half Marathon '09 - 2nd Japanese
Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN)
PB - 1:02:17 (Jitsugyodan '09)
3rd, Sendai Int'l Half Marathon '09 - top Japanese
Ryosuke Fukuyama (Team JAL Ground Service)
PB - 1:02:49 (Jitsugyodan '08)
5th, Sendai Int'l Half Marathon '09 - 2nd Japanese
Tomomi Itakura (Team Otsuka Seiyaku)
PB - 1:02:58 (Sapporo '09)
11th, Sapporo Int'l Half Marathon '09 - 3rd Japanese

Women
Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren)
PB - 1:08:11 (Jitsugyodan '08) - CR
1st, Sendai Int'l Half Marathon '09
Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya)
PB - 1:09:20 (Sapporo '09)
1st, Sapporo Int'l Half Marathon '09
3rd, Jitsugyodan Half Marathon '09 - top Japanese
Remi Nakazato (Team Daihatsu)
PB - 1:10:03 (Jitsugyodan '09)
4th, Jitsugyodan Half Marathon '09 - 2nd Japanese
Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu)
PB - 1:10:16 (Jitsugyodan '09)
4th, Sapporo Int'l Half Marathon '09 - 3rd Japanese
Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon)
PB - 1:11:27 (Sendai '09)
3rd, Sendai Int'l Half Marathon '09 - 2nd Japanese

Translator's note: In the three selection races for the World Half team Kensuke Takahashi (Team Toyota) on the men's side and Yukari Sahaku (Team Aruze) on the women's were ahead of other runners named to the team. This may say something about Takahashi and Sahaku's plans for the fall season.

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