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Olympic Marathon Champion Mizuki Noguchi Runs Anchor Leg on 4x400 m Team at Kansai Jitsugyodan Championships

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2008051800123
http://beijing2008.nikkansports.com/athletics/f-sp-tp0-20080518-361526.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Running for two-time defending champions Team Sysmex, Beijing Olympic marathon team leader Mizuki Noguchi ran the anchor leg of the 4 x 400 m relay on May 18 at the Kansai Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships in Hyogo. Noguchi received the baton in 5th place but, despite being an Olympic marathon gold medalist and ekiden ace, was unable to pass even a single runner and came home in 5th.

For Noguchi, who turns 30 on July 3rd, this was the last race she will run in her 20`s. "I did what I could," commented Noguchi afterwards. "It goes without saying that the 400 m is a speed race, so it was pretty tough. I did kind of want to end [my 20`s] with a little stronger performance than this, but I feel freed now to put all my focus into my marathon preparations." Asked for her opinion of marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe`s current injury troubles, Noguchi replied, "She is the kind of woman who can do anything."

Noguchi leaves for her high-altitude training camp in Sugadaira, Nagano on May 20 to begin her final training for Beijing.

Comments

Roberto said…
I love that the paper reported this straight (and that Noguchi felt the need to comment without apparently inserting tongue in cheek) ... as though any top marathon runner would expect anything other than to be smoked on an anchor leg of a 4 x 400 ...
Brett Larner said…
Agreed. The 2nd article I linked has a photo of her running the race.
bryan said…
These are the quirky type of articles that you only see in Japan. Thanks for catching this and posting on it. My thoughts on it are here:

http://optimaltraining.typepad.com/blog/2008/05/only-in-japan.html

Bryan
Brett Larner said…
Looking back at this from almost two years later I wonder if this will end up having been Noguchi's final race? It was the last one she did before getting injured.

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