Despite injury worries, London Olympics silver-medal winner Hiromi Miyake was named with four other weightlifters to compete in Rio de Janeiro Games on Saturday.
Miyake, named to compete in the 48-kg division by the Japan Weightlifting Association, will compete in her fourth straight games. She will compete alongside Kanae Yagi (53 kg), Mikiko Ando (58 kg) and Namika Matsumoto (63 kg).
Yoichi Itokazu will be the only man representing Japan in Rio, where he’ll compete in the 62-kg division.
The clock is ticking down on the 30-year-old Miyake as she looks to overcome injuries to her lower back and left knee.
“I’ve never hurt that (left knee) before,” said Miyake, who first felt discomfort in the joint during a March training camp.
Because she had been training well, Miyake declined to reduce her workload, but the decision backfired as the pain spread to her lower back.
“I haven’t trained properly for a month. I have to do those things I can very well to end with a smile,” Miyake said. “If I can train for two months before the games, I’ll be OK.”
There’s a sense of deja vu for Miyake, who was troubled by a groin injury before the 2012 Games, when she tuned up in the final three months before the London tournament. Her father and coach Yoshiyuki is hoping the current plight works in favor of her daughter in the end.
“She won the silver in London but her peak actually arrived three weeks before that,” he said. “We have two months to get ready this time so we can get her condition up to its best on the day of the event.”
JWA head of development Tetsuo Komiyama indicated two additional men could also earn trips to Brazil.
“The International Weightlifting Association has yet to decide on doping violations during last year’s world championships. Once that’s settled there’ll be more slots for Japan,” he said.