translated and edited by Brett Larner
With her ultimate target of making the London Olympics in mind, Daegu World Championships marathon 5th placer Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) announced on Feb. 1 that she will run the final domestic Olympic selection race, the Mar. 11 Nagoya Women's Marathon (formerly the Nagoya International Women's Marathon), abandoning her plans to run the Feb. 26 Tokyo Marathon where she was last week named as an invited elite. On the strength of her World Championships performance Akaba had a good chance to be picked for the Olympic team without running one of the selection races, but, explained her husband and coach Shuhei Akaba on the couple's blog, "Not wanting to choose an alternative that might end up unhappily, Yukiko made this decision herself."
Translator's note: Akaba has previously indicated that she plans to retire to have another child following the London Olympics. With her addition Nagoya is going to be rough, with four of the five members of the 2011 World Championships team, national record holder Mizuki Noguchi, (Team Sysmex) 2010 champion Yuri Kano (Team Shiseido) a potential marathon debut from 10000 m junior national record holder Megumi Kinukawa (Mizuno) and others having already been named as likely entrants. No more than two women stand a chance of making the Olympic team from Nagoya.