I think they go w Murakami. In a way sending Miki could be good for Mao - it diverts media attention away from Mao completely bc all of a sudden you have two stories - Mao- trying to get the gold medal she never got (very kwaneque) and Miki- trying to show someone can be a new mom and compete for a medal at the Olympics. If Miki is there,Mao of course will still have enormous pressure but it will not be all Mao, all the time, the storyline for the Japanese press gets more titilating if Miki is there I don't see why Japan would send Miki unless she comes second at nationals after Mao. If she comes third, I don't think they send her especially if the score is tight or if there is an issue w another skater (illness, etc). miki is not going to medal - she does not have the scores and especially the pcs to compete. miki makes for an inspiring story but the Olympics is not a charity case. I am afraid Akiko will bomb at nationals, I hope she does not, but I am not sure what Japan will do if she does. She has clearly been Japan's number 2 for almost the last quad -that should mean something. And there is a chance at a medal, like she did at worlds 2 years ago. Otherwise, is this the last skate we see of Akiko in international competition (unless 4 continents, though I am not sure she would go as a consolation prize). Sad to see her leave so I hope to see her in Sochi.