• Kyodo News

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Japanese men’s marathon national record holder Toshinari Takaoka is planning to compete in the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon in March, the final qualifier for this summer’s Athens Olympics. Coach Kunimitsu Ito said Saturday that Takaoka has already completed the entry procedures for the March 7 race starting at Ojiyama athletics stadium in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture. In December last year, Takaoka clocked 2 hours, 7 minutes, 59 seconds at the Fukuoka International Men’s Marathon, for a third-place finish, leaving his chances for a berth to Athens hanging in the balance. Takaoka holds the Japanese record of 2:06:16.

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