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Kawauchi Joins Federation-Supported Ranks, Noguchi and Shibui Downgraded

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2011/03/31/kiji/K20110331000537600.html

translated by Brett Larner

Rikuren announced its list of athletes receiving special financial support in the 2011-2012 season on Mar. 31. Joining the ranks of the country's federation-supported athletes for the first time, Tokyo Marathon 3rd place finisher and amateur runner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama T&F Assoc.) was officially granted B-class support.*

Female marathoners Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) and Yoko Shibui (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) and male sprinters Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) and Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) were downgraded from A-class to B-class. Only three athletes were categorized at the highest level, S-class; field athletes Koji Murofushi (Team Mizuno) and Yukifumi Murakami (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) and marathoner Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei).

*Translator's note: B-class athletes receive an annual stipend of 1,500,000 yen, roughly $18,000 USD at current exchange rates.

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