translated by Brett Larner
With last month's Nagoya International Women's Marathon having been cancelled in the wake of the disasters to hit northeastern Japan, marathoner Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon) left Japan's Kansai International Airport on Apr. 6 to try for a spot on this summer's World Championships marathon squad at one of the designated substitute races for Nagoya, this Sunday's Daegu International Marathon.
Machida was caught in February's major earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand while there on a federation-sponsored training junket, returning to Japan only to have her team's base in Osaki, Miyagi be heavily hit by the Mar. 11 earthquake. "I want to run fast so I can send back some good news," she said. If she fails to make the World Championships team, Machida plans to retire following this weekend's marathon. The 30 year-old Machida, a native of Saitama, joined Team Nihon ChemiCon in 1999. She finished 3rd at the 2009 Nagoya International Women's Marathon.