translated and edited by Brett Larner
On Dec. 18 the six-stage, 42.195 km National Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden Championships will be held for the first time in Sendai, Miyagi. On Dec. 1 organizers released the entry list lineups for the 33 teams in the field. Included in the list are Japan's top two prospects for the 2012 London Olympics marathon, 2004 Athens Olympics gold medalist and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) and half-marathon national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal). Defending champion Team Tenmaya will field past Olympic marathoners Naoko Sakamoto and Yurika Nakamura, with last year's runner up Team Daiichi Seimei including 2009 World Championships marathon silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki on its roster. Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo has veterans Yoko Shibui and, still shooting for a comeback following a maternity leave Reiko Tosa.
This year the National Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden Championships expanded the number of places available in the field as a memorial to the victims of March's earthquake and tsunami disasters in the Sendai region.
Translator's note: Click here for the complete entry list. All five members of Japan's Daegu World Championships marathon squad are included on their teams' rosters.