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Japan Names London Olympics Men's and Women's Marathon Teams

by Brett Larner

At a live televised press conference the afternoon of Mar. 12, the Japanese federation announced the lineups of the men's and women's marathon teams for this summer's London Olympics along with brief rationales for each athlete's selection.  Daegu World Championships men's 7th-placer Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei) and women's 5th-placer Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) were named alternates after running sub-par at their final selection races.  In Horibata's case the federation officials specified that he had been picked for alternate over Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) because he had beaten Kawauchi by a wide margin in Daegu.

Below are profiles of the three members and alternate on each team.  Click any photo for more detailed profile info.  The men's team appears to be the stronger of the two, with one 2:07 runner and two 2:08 men, but the women's team is also solid, having two 2:23 runners, one a World Championships silver medalist, and a 2:26 winner.  The federation took factors other than pure time into consideration, as Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko) with a 2:08:38 in Tokyo was passed over in favor of the slightly slower Yamamoto and Nakamoto, and 2:24 women Remi Nakazato (Team Daihatsu) and Azusa Nojiri (Team Daiichi Seimei) were bumped by 2:26 Yokohama winner Kizaki.  Kawauchi and Akaba ran even faster than Maeda, Nakazato and Nojiri last year.

Congratulations to the 30% of poll respondents who correctly picked Nakamoto to join his former Takushoku University teammate Fujiwara and the man who passed him with 400 m to go at Lake Biwa, Yamamoto, on the London team.

Men

Arata Fujiwara (Tokyo T&F Assoc.)

Selection race performance:
2:07:48 - 2012 Tokyo Marathon, 2nd - PB




PB marks:
marathon: 2:07:48 - Tokyo, 2012
half-marathon: 1:01:34 - Marugame, 2012
10000 m: 28:41.05 - Fukagawa, 2009
5000 m: 13:41.35 - 2006

Marathon history:
2:07:48 - 2012 Tokyo Marathon, 2nd
2:29:21 - 2011 Tokyo Marathon, 57th
DNF - 2010 New York City Marathon
2:09:34 - 2010 Ottawa Marathon, 1st - CR
2:12:34 - 2010 Tokyo Marathon, 2nd
2:31:06 - 2009 Berlin World Championships, 61st
2:09:47 - 2008 Fukuoka International Marathon, 3rd
2:23:10 - 2008 Chicago Marathon, 16th
2:08:40 - 2008 Tokyo Marathon, 2nd
2:38:37 - 2007 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, 85th

Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express)

Selection race performance:
2:08:44 - 2012 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, 4th - PB



PB marks:
marathon: 2:08:44 - Lake Biwa, 2012
half-marathon: 1:01:54 - Marugame, 2012
10000 m: 28:22.84 - Nittai Univ., 2011
5000 m: 13:54.96

Marathon history:
2:08:44 - 2012 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, 4th
2:16:49 - 2011 Hokkaido Marathon, 5th
2:22:32 - 2010 Tokyo Marathon, 22nd
2:12:10 - 2009 Hokkaido Marathon, 2nd

Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki)

Selection race performances:
2:08:53 - 2012 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, 5th - PB
2:13:10 - 2011 Daegu World Championships, 10th


PB marks:
marathon: 2:08:53 - Lake Biwa, 2012
half-marathon: 1:02:29 - Marugame, 2009
10000 m: 29:04.24 - Sayagatani, 2011
5000 m: 14:04.31 - Nobeoka, 2011

Marathon history:
2:08:53 - 2012 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, 5th
2:13:10 - 2011 Daegu World Championships, 10th
2:09:31 - 2011 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, 4th
2:12:38 - 2010 Amsterdam Marathon, 9th
2:11:42 - 2010 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, 8th
2:13:53 - 2009 Tokyo Marathon, 9th
2:15:21 - 2008 Hokkaido Marathon, 2nd
2:13:54 - 2008 Nobeoka Nishi Nihon Marathon, 3rd

Alt: Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei)

Selection race performances:
2:10:05 - 2012 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, 11th
2:11:52 - 2011 Daegu World Championships, 7th

PB marks:
marathon: 2:09:25 - Lake Biwa, 2011
half-marathon: 1:04:11
10000 m: 28:30.32 - Nobeoka, 2011
5000 m: 13:53.07 - Nobeoka, 2011

Marathon history:
2:10:05 - 2012 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, 11th
2:11:52 - 2011 Daegu World Championships, 7th
2:09:25 - 2011 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, 3rd
2:26:55 - 2010 Hokkaido Marathon, 20th
2:18:27 - 2009 Tokyo Marathon, 22nd
2:11:47 - 2008 Tokyo Marathon, 9th

Women

Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya)

Selection race performance:
2:23:23 - 2012 Osaka International Women's Marathon, 1st - PB




PB marks:
marathon: 2:23:23 - Osaka International, 2012
half-marathon: 1:10:58 - Osaka International, 2012
10 km: 32:38 - Okayama, 2010
5000 m: 15:32.41 - Himeji, 2006

Marathon history:
2:23:23 - 2012 Osaka International Women's Marathon, 1st
2:31:28 - 2011 London Marathon, 24th

Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei)

Selection race performances:
2:24:14 - 2012 Nagoya Women's Marathon, 2nd
2:26:49 - 2011 Yokohama International Women's Marathon (fall), 2nd
2:32:31 - 2011 Daegu World Championships, 18th

PB marks:
marathon: 2:23:30 - Tokyo International, 2008
half-marathon: 1:09:26 - Udine, 2007
10000 m: 31:47.23 - Kobe, 2005
5000 m: 15:28.55 - Tottori, 2004

Marathon history:
2:24:14 - 2012 Nagoya Women's Marathon, 2nd
2:26:49 - 2011 Yokohama International Women's Marathon (fall), 2nd
2:32:31 - 2011 Daegu World Championships, 18th
2:23:56 - 2011 Yokohama International Women's Marathon (spring), 1st - CR
2:32:26 - 2010 London Marathon, 10th
2:25:25 - 2009 Berlin World Championships, 2nd
2:23:30 - 2008 Tokyo International Women's Marathon, 1st
2:26:19 - 2008 Nagoya International Women's Marathon, 2nd

Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu)

Selection race performance:
2:26:32 - 2011 Yokohama International Women's Marathon (fall), 1st - PB



PB marks:
marathon: 2:26:32 - Yokohama, 2011
half-marathon: 1:10:16 - Yamaguchi, 2009
10000 m: 31:38.71 - Niigata, 2011
5000 m: 15:35.12 - Hiroshima, 2009

Marathon history:
2:26:32 - 2011 Yokohama International Women's Marathon (fall), 1st
2:29:35 - 2011 Osaka International Women's Marathon, 5th
2:27:34 - 2010 Osaka International Women's Marathon, 6th

Alt: Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren)

Selection race performances:
2:26:08 - 2012 Nagoya Women's Marathon, 8th
2:29:35 - 2011 Daegu World Championships, 5th



PB marks:
marathon: 2:24:08 - London, 2011
half-marathon: 1:08:11 - Yamaguchi, 2008
10000 m: 31:15.34 - Kawasaki, 2008
5000 m: 15:06.07 - 2008

Marathon history:
2:26:08 - 2012 Nagoya Women's Marathon, 8th
2:29:35 - 2011 Daegu World Championships, 5th
2:24:08 - 2011 London Marathon, 6th
2:26:29 - 2011 Osaka International Women's Marathon, 1st
2:24:55 - 2010 London Marathon, 6th
DNF - 2010 Osaka International Women's Marathon
2:37:43 - 2009 Berlin World Championships, 31st
2:25:40 - 2009 Osaka International Women's Marathon, 2nd

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

yuza said…
I am happy for Kizaki, but I am not sure she is the best choice. I think her teammate at Daihatsu Nakazato deserved it after her run yesterday.

I can not really argue with the men selected, but the alternate should be Kawauchi; the guy is pretty much always ready to go
TokyoRacer said…
Yes, clearly Nakazato should be on the team or the alternate. Unbelievable.

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