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Naoko Takahashi in Kunming: Running On to Her Beijing Dream (with photos)

Click link above for photos of Takahashi training in China.

translated by Brett Larner

"Your dream will come true if you don't give up." This is what Naoko Takahashi (35, Team Phiten) wants to tell people through her running. Takahashi, the Sydney Olympics marathon gold medalist, has been in high-altitude training in Kunming, China since last year in preparation for the Mar. 9 Nagoya International Women's Marathon, sponsored in part by the Chunichi Newspapers Group.

Takahashi failed to qualify for the Athens Olympics 4 years ago, but "Beijing is my last challenge." She is completely focused on making the last slot for the Beijing Olympic team. Kuming rests at an altitude of 1900 m. It is the Chinese New Year now and in Kunming the atmosphere has the merry feeling of a festival, but Takahashi's mood is deadly serious and concentrated on the next month of training.

"Captain Naoko" daily follows her self-designed training program "Q's Boot Camp" to strengthen her entire body. As usual, she has been eating and drinking 3 times as much as a normal person. Her beloved toy poodle Lappy is still in Japan, but she says, "Of course, we're always together...," unzipping her vest to show off her custom t-shirt printed with Lappy's picture.

photo caption 1: Q-chan is always smiley, but once her training starts her face changes into race mode. Kunming, Yunan Province, China.
photo caption 2: Early morning jogging while listening to her favorite music on headphones. On the right is Team Q trainer Ko Nishimura. Anning, Yunan Province, China.
photo caption 3: Working out with her self-designed weight training program "Q's Boot Camp." Kunming, Yunan Province, China.
photo caption 4: Eating enough for 3 people at breakfast after morning training. Kunming, Yunan Province, China.
photo caption 5: Always together, Q-chan shows her t-shirt printed with pictures of her dog Lappy. Kunming, Yunan Province, China.


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