translated by Brett Larner
Beijing Olympics women`s marathon favorite Mizuki Noguchi of Kobe-based Team Sysmex spoke at a press conference at Kobe`s Crown Plaza hotel the morning of July 3rd. Noguchi addressed a crowd of 220 supporters including Asics` master craftsman Hitoshi Mimura, who made Noguchi`s shoes for the Beijing Olympics. July 3rd also being Noguchi`s 30th birthday, the Olympic champion told her audience, "Having the Olympics to start off my 30`s is the best present I can think of."
Having just returned from a series of test runs of the Beijing course, Noguchi commented, "My spirits are high and I`m feeling confident to defend my title. I think I can break the mark I set in Athens, but the important thing for me is to be relaxed during the race."
Noguchi leaves for her final altitude training in St. Moritz, Switerland on July 4th.