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JRNPremium is Japan Running News' feature series of original interviews conducted and translated by JRN editors Brett Larner and Mika Tokairin. We bring you an unprecedented look into the training, psychology and lives of some of the most important and most interesting athletes, coaches and officials in the Japanese distance running world.

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Japan Announces Complete London Olympics Athletics Team

by Brett Larner Click here for JRN's complete video coverage of the 2012 Japanese Olympic Trials, 27 videos making up nearly three hours of footage. The Japanese Federation and Olympic Committee announced the complete lineup of Japan's team of 48 athletes for this summer's London Olympics track and field events at a press conference on June 11.  The team features 11 national record holders and 18 current national champions and is young overall, with a heavy preponderance of first-time Olympians including a World Junior gold medalist, 13 collegiates and one high schooler.  The Fujitsu corporate team is overwhelmingly the best-represented, boasting 8 Olympic team members, while Chukyo University tops the collegiate list with 3 athletes on the team.  Suzuki, whose Suzuki Hamamatsu AC club team exists outside the corporate league, also has 3 Olympians. No Olympic team selection process is free of controversial decisions, and the omission of women's 10000 m Jr. NR hold

Yamagata-Based Alexander Mutiso Aims to Be #1 in Paris Olympics Marathon

Having been named to the Kenyan men's team for this summer's Paris Olympics, Alexander Mutiso , 27, of the Nanyo, Yamagata-based ND Software corporate team, told the Yamagata Newspaper on May 13 that his goal for the Olympic marathon is "to be #1." Having lived in Yamagata for 10 years, Mutiso has strong attachment to the area and credits its environment for helping him develop, saying, "Ever since I came to Yamagata I've been running well." He left for Kenya on May 14 to join the Kenyan national team training camp, aiming to be in perfect condition when he arrives in Paris for the main event. Mutiso came to Japan in 2015, joining the ND Software team and taking up residence in Nanyo. "I don't like the cold winters in Yamagata so much, but the other seasons are nice." From that base he has grown into the athlete he is now, competing in races across Japan and around the world. Compared to the track, his strengths lie more in long road races

Weekend Track Update

  The biggest domestic meet of the weekend was the four-day Kanto Region Track and Field Championships , but there were other good meets happening across the country. At the Kinami Memorial Meet in Osaka, Kazuto Iizawa (Sumitomo Denko) had a near-miss on the Japanese NR, running a meet record 3:35.77 for the win to come in at all-time JPN #2. 2nd through 4th-placers Abraham Guem (South Sudan), Felix Muthiani (Kenya) and Dezhu Liu (China) were all under the old MR and under 3:38, and the top 10 all went under 3:40. All told it was one of the best non-international championship men's 1500 m ever on Japanese soil. The women's 3000 mSC also saw a new MR from Shuangshuang Xu (China) in 9:47.45, with 2nd through 4th-placers Miu Saito (Nittai Univ.), Georgia Winkcup (Australia) and Manami Nishiyama (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) all breaking 10 minutes. At part one of the Chugoku Corporate Championships in Hiroshima, Rebecca Mwangi (Daiso) had an easy win in the women's 5000 m