translated and edited by Brett Larner
Having doubled in the 5000 m and 10000 m at the summer's Daegu World Championships, 5000 m national champion and 10000 m junior national record holder Megumi Kinukawa (22, Team Mizuno) confirmed Dec. 1 that the marathon is her target for the London Olympics. Kinukawa will run the Dec. 4 Shanghai International Half Marathon, and if her result is good she will race one of the two remaining domestic Olympic selection marathons, either January's Osaka International Women's Marathon or March's Nagoya Women's Marathon.
Kinukawa ran the 10000 m at the 2007 Osaka World Championships while still a student at Sendai Ikuei High School. After that she suffered a long absence from the sport, but this year she returned to win the National Championships 5000 m. Her coach from the beginning, Takao Watanabe, commented, "In Shanghai we're going to see once and for all whether or not she is cut out for the marathon."
Translator's note: Despite the outstanding late-spring comeback that saw Kinukawa win the 5000 m at Nationals in a year-leading 15:09.96 and go on to clock 31:10.02, she ran poorly at the World Championships. Since then she has won the amateur-level Amsterdam Half Marathon and, most recently the 5000 m B-heat at the Nittai University Time Trials.