translated and edited by Brett Larner
On Feb. 3 Rikuren announced the invited athlete list for the Feb. 12 Chiba International Cross-Country Meet. Headlining the senior 8 km and 12 km lists are women's 5000 m national champion Megumi Kinukawa (Mizuno) and men's 10000 m national champion Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin), along with others kicking off a season they hope will lead to the Olympics on the track. Top university talent in the senior men's 12 km include Hakone Ekiden stars Suguru Osako (Waseda University) and Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.). The women's 8 km also features Ukrainian Tetiana Gamera-Shmyrko, the runner-up at last weekend's Osaka International Women's Marathon.
Men's 1500 m national champion Hiroshi Ino (Team Fujitsu) will run the senior men's 4 km. In the junior races, women's 1500 m national champion Mika Kobayashi (Suma Gakuen H.S.) and National Sports Festival 5000 m and 3000 m winners Ken Yokote (Sakushin Gakuin H.S.) and Tomoka Kimura (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) are on the entry lists.
In its 47th running the Chiba International XC Meet will be a selection race for both March's Asian XC Championships in China and April's World University XC Championships in Poland.