translated by Brett Larner
Beijing Olympics women's marathoner Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) will begin her move back toward the marathon as the 2012 Olympics approach. In the year and a half since Beijing, Nakamura has stayed away from the marathon and instead focused on developing her speed on the track and over the half marathon. On Jan. 12 she announced that she plans to run in April's Boston Marathon.
Nakamura won her marathon debut at the spring, 2008 Nagoya International Women's Marathon, and finished 13th in Beijing. As she begins her buildup toward the 2012 London Marathon she plans to race overseas more frequently to gain experience racing against top foreign competition.
At last summer's World Championships in Berlin she became the first Japanese woman in 10 years to crack the top 8 in the 10000 m, running a PB to finish 7th overall. She also recorded PBs in both the heats and final of the 5000 m. At the World Half Marathon Championships in the fall she was the 12th overall, the top Japanese finisher. Altogether her record since Beijing makes her one of Japanese women's distance running's top aces.
Translator's note: Nakamura's PB in the 10000 m was later disallowed due to race officials' error in failing to lay down dividing cones to guide the outer of the two starting groups.
Last week Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC) told JRN that she also plans to run this year's Boston Marathon. Shimahara won August's Hokkaido Marathon in a PB and CR of 2:25:10 and went on to finish 2nd and under 2:30 at both the Yokohama International Women's Marathon in November and the Honolulu Marathon in December. Together with Berlin silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) and her World Championships teammate Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) lining up in London it could be an interesting spring for the Japanese women. Who is going to run Tokyo and Nagoya?