translated and edited by Brett Larner
Daegu World Championships women's marathon team members Yoshimi Ozaki and Azusa Nojiri (both Team Daiichi Seimei) returned to Japan on Aug. 7 after two months of altitude training in Boulder, Colorado. The pair talked to the media at Tokyo's Narita International Airport along with their coach, '91 World Championships women's marathon silver medalist Sachiko Yamashita (Team Daiichi Seimei). Ozaki, the '09 Berlin World Championships marathon silver medalist, was in good spirits and looked cheerful as she gave herself a self-evaluation of "about 70%."
The Boulder training camp put an emphasis on mileage, with the pair training at the 800 km/month level and completing their first-ever 50 km run. Ozaki looked confident as she commented, "I was able to pick up the pace in last part of the 50 km run, so any apprehensions I might have had about the distance are gone now." Looking toward the World Championships where she is targeting her second-straight medal, Ozaki said, "We're laying down a lot of different possible race plans. I can see the scenario where I surge away." Her teammate Nojiri expressed satisfaction with her own preparations, saying, "I've done everything I can at this stage."
From Aug. 11 the pair will relocate to the Kuju highlands in Oita prefecture for their final preparations for the World Championships women's marathon on the morning of Aug. 27, the first event in the Championships in which medals will be handed out. "We want to be standing on the start line feeling good," they said.