translated and edited by Brett Larner
The JAAF has announced that beginning with next year's edition on Feb. 27, the Fukuoka International Cross-Country Meet will become the Japan Cross-Country Championships. The male winner will be guaranteed a place in the 10000 m at the National Track and Field Championships, with the women's winner able to choose between the 5000 m and 10000 m. The new format will also serve as the official selection event for the World Cross-Country Championships national team.
Up to now Fukuoka has been one of two major domestic cross-country meets along with the Chiba International Cross-Country Meet, but the JAAF will now position Fukuoka as the meet for top-level athletes, with Chiba becoming the National Junior High School Cross-Country Championships and a race for amateurs. The next edition of Chiba will be held on Feb. 14.