Veteran sprinter Shingo Suetsugu will take part in his first national championships in nine years after qualifying for the event in Osaka next month, and the 36-year-old said Friday he could not be happier.
“(The national meet) is the biggest stage in Japan so I am happy that I can take part,” Suetsugu said.
Suetsugu holds the 200-meter national record of 20.03 seconds and is to run in that event in the championships at Yanmar Stadium. Part of the 4×100 relay team that won the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he recorded a time of 20.94 seconds at a meet in Texas this month.
Suetsugu secured an entry for the nationals thanks to bettering the “B” qualifying standard of 20.95 and for finishing second at the Kyushu championships last year.
He took a long break after the Beijing Olympics and returned to racing in 2011, but has not competed at the nationals since 2008.