translated by Brett Larner
Reiko Tosa (32, Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo), who after failing to finish the Beijing Olympics marathon announced her intent to retire, returned to Japan on Oct. 29 from a high altitude training camp in Kunming, China, telling reporters at the airport that she now wants to run one last marathon.
"I want to have one more go [at 42.195 km]," Tosa said. She does not want her last memory of her running to be that of having dropped out of the Olympic marathon after injuring her foot, but hopes to make a more fitting end to her career. Tosa is not planning to run in a major international race but will most likely return to her roots and run her hometown Ehime Marathon in February, a race she won in her marathon debut in 1998.
Asked for comments about Sydney Olympics marathon gold medalist Naoko Takahashi's retirement this week, Tosa replied, "I was really surprised. She is the pioneer of the speed marathon. I think she will still go on to do great things elsewhere."
Tosa's teammate Yoko Shibui (29), competing in the Nov. 16 Tokyo International Women's Marathon in an effort to make the 2009 Berlin World Championships marathon team, also returned to Japan along with Tosa. "There's no question I'm going to win," Shibui said resolutely. On the topic of Takahashi, who had also planned to run Tokyo, Shibui showed her respect by commenting, "It takes courage to say that you're going to retire."
Translator's note: Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo will run in the East Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden on Nov. 3.