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Noguchi Begins Preparation for Beijing Olympic Gold

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/top/sp200711/sp2007112002.html

translated by Brett Larner

The morning after winning the Tokyo International Women`s Marathon in a course record time of 2:21:37, Mizuki Noguchi (29, Team Sysmex), was still in Tokyo for interviews about her plans for becoming the first woman to repeat as Olympic gold medallist.

Noguchi achieved victory in large part thanks to the strength of her muscular thighs. The day before, Noguchi became the first woman to break 17 minutes on the course`s severe uphill from 35 km to 40 km, running 16:56. She showed the strength and spirit which will be necessary for a win in Beijing. She said, "I want to do the kind of training that will help me find a new level."

The night before winning her first full marathon after 2 years away from the event, Noguchi was in a bar drinking champagne with her coach Nobuyuki Fujita. Noguchi doesn`t drink much, but said, "This alcohol reminds me of the feeling I had after [setting the Japanese national record in Sept. `05 at] the Berlin Marathon. Next up is my ticket to Beijing." The champagne is by way of an early celebration of her impending Olympic trip.

Noguchi intends to stay outside the Athlete Village in Beijing in her own `gold medal territory.` Noguchi`s staff are planning to visit Beijing in December to scout for a place for Noguchi to stay. Fujita explained, "At the Athens Olympics we spent around 12,000,000 yen ($120,000 U.S.) on private accomodations. It`s probably going to be the same in Beijing."

Noguchi believes in keeping things the same throughout her training. Even this morning, the day after the marathon, Noguchi woke up at 6:00 to run for 50 minutes around the Imperial Palace, saying "Today I`m going to a famous onsen with my own bath in my room. It`s pretty amazing so I want to get going early."

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