Murofushi planning to return for nationals


Athens Olympic hammer throw gold medalist Koji Murofushi said on Tuesday he will compete at next month’s national athletics championships to try to qualify for his fifth consecutive Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The 41-year-old Murofushi, the 2004 Olympic champion and a bronze medalist four years ago in London, won his 20th successive national title in 2014 but has not competed since then.

Murofushi is the national record-holder with a throw of 84.86 meters. He is also on the board of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Japan Association of Athletics Federations.

“As an athlete, I want to keep competing until I no longer can,” Murofushi said. “I have to find a way to make the time to work. It won’t be like when I was younger; I have to give it all I’ve got on the day of the meet.

“It’s still there. I just have to find a way to bring it to the forefront.”

Felix pushes debut back

Olympic 200-meter champion Allyson Felix will miss opening her outdoor season at Saturday’s Prefontaine Classic in Oregon as she continues to recover from a five-week-old ankle sprain, her coach said Tuesday.

The setback will not affect Felix’s plans to run both the 200 and 400-meter races at August’s Rio Olympics, coach Bob Kersee said in a telephone interview.

“Nothing at all,” Kersee said when asked if Felix’s injury would change plans for the rare Olympic double, which only two women have completed.

Kersee said Felix, who has missed two outdoor meetings after running in an early relay race, was ready to compete but her physical therapist and doctor encouraged her to take more time.

“Things are going well and they have no concern about her being prepared by the (July 1-10) Olympic trials,” Kersee said. “They just think (she should focus on) her training and physical therapy and maybe take a week to 10 days before she races.”

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