translated by Brett Larner
Long off the field of battle and sitting on the sidelines, marathoner Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) attended a June 11 memorial service for Hanji Aoki, an honorary member of Rikuren's directory board and one of the luminaries of the Japanese athletics world. Asked about her condition, Noguchi told reporters "I'm back in training. It's not to the point where I can plan my next race. But anyway, my main focus is on getting my muscles back into the condition they used to be in."
At the memorial service Noguchi sat at the same table with the women who preceeded her as Olympic marathon medalists, Yuko Arimori and Naoko Takahashi. "We talked a bit," said Noguchi. "They told me that I have to make a comeback, that I can't keep on like this. I was really happy to hear such warm words of support coming from people like them. It makes me want to do it," she said with a smile which showed that her drive to make the London Olympics is still burning strong.
"I don't know when my comeback race will be yet," she went on, "but I'm back to working on my speed on the track. I'd like to start with a half marathon." For the former 'Queen of the Half Marathon' it would be a major step to return to her best distance.