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Japan decides marathon squad for Beijing Olympics
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The Japanese athletics association decided Monday at its council meeting the country's squad for the Beijing Olympics marathon games.

The three female players are 29-year-old Athens gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi, 31-year-old world bronze medalist Reiko Tosa and Yurika Nakamura, winner of the Nagoya International Women's Marathon last November.

The three male players are 34-year-old Tsuyoshi Ogata, fifth at last year's world championships in Osaka, 29-year-old Atsushi Sato, who made outstanding performance at Fukuoka International Marathon in December, and 31-year-old Satoshi Osaki, sixth at the Osaka world championships.

It will be the first time for all of the three men to appear on the Olympic Games.

Marathon is a popular sports activity in Japan, with all kinds of marathon matches being organized throughout the country all year long. Japanese female runners won marathon gold medals in both Sydney and Athens.

(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2008)

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