translated by Brett Larner
Wataru Okutani, the top member of Japan`s World Championships Marathon team, has been forced to withdraw from the team due to complications arising from an appendectomy. Okutani was the top Japanese finisher and 4th overall at last year`s Fukuoka International Marathon in a PB time of 2:08:49. He was also the third scoring member of Japan`s gold medal-winning team at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki. Okutani has been replaced by alternate Tomoyuki Sato who was the top Japanese finisher and 2nd overall in this year`s Tokyo Marathon where he ran 2:11:22. Sato also ran Fukuoka, finishing as 5th Japanese and 10th overall in 2:12:29.