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Federation Announces Strict Qualifying Times for 2013 World Championships Team

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/f-sp-tp0-20120612-966393.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Rikuren, the Japanese athletics federation, announced on June 12 the criteria for selection for Japan's team for next year's Moscow World Championships.  To encourage Japanese athletes to get faster, the qualification times announced for the marathon are far higher than in previous years, while track and field events will see their first-ever specific qualifying marks.

Five men and five women can run the marathon in Moscow.  To make the team, men must run 2:07:59 or better and women 2:23:59 or better at any of the three major domestic men's and women's marathons.  Any athlete who clears these times at one of five specified overseas races will also be a candidate for the team.

The domestic races for men are the Fukuoka International Marathon, the Tokyo Marathon and the Biwako Mainichi Marathon, while for women the races are the Yokohama International Women's Marathon, the Osaka International Women's Marathon and the Nagoya Women's Marathon.  The five international races are the World Marathon Majors, Berlin, Chicago, New York, Boston and London.  If no athletes clear the criteria, the top three Japanese finishers at the above domestic races as well as the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon  for men and the Hokkaido Marathon for women will be considered.

In each track and field event the criteria will be: 1. Any athlete who clears the A-standard mark specified by Rikuren and wins their event at the National Championships, or 2. Any athlete who has cleared Rikuren's qualification mark and makes the top eight at the National Championships.  The qualification marks will be announced at a later date, but according to Rikuren official Mitsugi Ogata, "The Federation will base the marks on the world top twelve rankings.  For track events this will be faster than the A-standard, while for field events it will be around the same as the A-standard."

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