translated by Brett Larner
The organizers of Sunday's 67th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, the final domestic selection race for the Japanese men's London Olympics marathon team, announced on Mar. 2 that invited athlete Atsushi Sato (33, Team Chugoku Denryoku) has withdrawn from the race due to inflammation in the rear of his left thigh. Sato began to experience pain in mid-February and was unable to recover in time for the race, bringing to an end his bid for a second-straight Olympic marathon appearance. The half-marathon national record holder, he finished last at the Beijing Olympics. He came back with a 6th-place finish at the 2009 Berlin World Championships but, targeting London, said, "You can only repay an Olympic debt at the Olympics."