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The Tasks Ahead for Noguchi to Reach London

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/f-sp-tp0-20081024-422297.html

translated by Brett Larner

Athens Olympics women's marathon champion Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex), who withdrew from the Beijing Olympics after sustaining an injury to her left thigh, plans to make the 2012 London Olympics the main goal over the next few years. In four years she will be 34. "Age doesn't matter," Noguchi believes. "I have to tell my coaches about my condition more often and control myself better from now on." Noguchi will listen more carefully to what her body is telling her in order to catch potential injuries and an early stage.

38 year old Constantina Tomescu-Dita (Romania) won the Beijing Olympic Marathon. Looking at keeping her motivation as time goes on, Noguchi says, "The more I run the marathon the more interesting it becomes." Her 150 cm-tall body has always looked full of power when she runs, the kind of power which won her the gold medal in Athens. After Athens she continued to develop herself, working on improving her form, raising her running to an entirely new level.

Noguchi's coach Nobuyuki Fujita believes, "Wisdom gained from life's experiences is without question important as you advance in years. This is essential for reducing the time lost to injury and fatigue." The tiny Noguchi does "The hardest training of anyone in the world," says Coach Fujita. For Noguchi to remain competitive at the world level they want to maintain her training load, but Fujita admits that along with discipline and "The willingness to do what is necessary to train over a long span of time," Noguchi's team must find a way to include more rest in her schedule.

Thus far in Noguchi's recovery she has only been able to jog. Her next marathon will likely not be until next fall. To build up her confidence on the way to London Noguchi will run her next marathon as a high-speed race. This plan is already in place, but, Noguchi says, along the way, "I want to set new personal best marks on the track and in the half marathon, even by one second, to make sure I'm not losing my speed." As she returns to her throne, the queen of Japanese distance running looks to strengthen both body and mind.

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