Suguru Osako (NOP), the top Japanese man in Fukuoka, and national record breaker Yuta Shitara (Honda) have both passed on the Asian Games national team. The weather conditions in sub-equatorial Jakarta are expected to be severe, but with just as tough conditions expected for the Tokyo Olympics and its MGC Race trials event the Asian Games represent an excellent test run opportunity. Coach Kuroki also commented, "The only question mark so far has been in our preparations for last August's London World Championships."
Kuroki and Inoue plan to work on measures to deal with the heat prior to the Asian Games. The JAAF plans to stage a test event at Jingu Gaien near the Olympic Stadium site in central Tokyo on Aug. 9, two years before the main event, but in the view of Inoue and Kuroki a serious race in hot summer conditions would be more valuable in being able to play an active role in the Tokyo Olympics marathon.
The Asian Games marathon teams will include up to two men and two women. Men will be selected based on the results from the past season's Hokkaido Marathon, Fukuoka International Marathon, Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, Tokyo Marathon and Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. Selection guidelines state that "athletes who are judged able to exert an active part in the Asian Games" will be chosen, with priority given to those already qualified for the MGC Race. The team lineup will be announced following ratification by the JAAF board of directors on Mar. 16.
translated by Brett Larner
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