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Noguchi Withdraws From Jitsugyodan Half Marathon After Developing Rash in Kunming

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/top/sp200803/sp2008031407.html
http://news.goo.ne.jp/article/nikkan/sports/p-sp-tp0-080314-0003.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Mizuki Noguchi (29, Team Sysmex), who this summer in Beijing will attempt to become the first woman to win two Olympic marathon gold medals, left for a training camp on Amami Oshima on Mar. 13.

Noguchi withdrew from this Sunday's Jitsugyodan Half Marathon championship after contracting a skin rash while training at altitude in Kunming, China. Noguchi decided to leave Kunming and return to Japan on Mar. 6 for extensive health testing. After her final examination on Mar. 12, Noguchi told reporters, "It was nothing. I am completely fine," while smiling in apparent perfect health. Two doctors who examined Noguchi said that the rash may have been a reaction to China's notorious yellow sandstorms. They said there is no danger of lingering effects or of an impact upon her performance in this summer's Beijing Olympics.

The training camp in Amami Oshima is scheduled to last until Mar. 18. From the end of the month Noguchi will relocate to Kumamoto for two weeks, then will focus on final preparations for the Sendai International Half Marathon in May to regain her racing mentality. Following Sendai, Noguchi will enter another training camp.

Translator's note: Noguchi originally planned to run two races this spring as part of her preparation for Beijing. She withdrew from the Kumanichi 30 km Road Race last month due to insufficient fitness, instead switching her plan to include the Jitsugyodan Half Marathon. Sendai will now be her only tuneup race barring further changes.

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