Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …