translated by Brett Larner
Rikuren director Keisuke Sawaki announced at a press conference in Tokyo on Sept. 29 that in order to remain in alignment with the IAAF's new proclamation, women's marathon marks set at marathons in which the women start together with men will no longer be recognized as national records but will instead be labelled Japanese bests. The IAAF ruled at a meeting in August that women who run with male pacemakers receive unfair assistance. The decision will apply to all races beginning Nov. 1. The federation is currently undecided on the matter of existing records, but under the guidelines they have just adopted Japan's three 2:19 performances, led by Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) and all set at the male-female unified start Berlin Marathon, would all be recognized as successive Japanese bests. In that case the new Japanese national record would become Noguchi's 2:21:18 set at the 2003 Osaka International Women's Marathon.
Translator's note: No word on whether the fine people at Rikuren are also considering annulling the 15 km, 20 km, half marathon, 25 km, 30 km and 100 km national records, all set in male-female races, as well. The announcement is conveniently timed just a week before 15 km, 20 km and half marathon (possibly impendingly former?) national record holder Kayoko Fukushi's Chicago Marathon debut where she has declared she hopes to run sub-2:20.