translated by Brett Larner
Having pulled out of last month's Osaka International Women's Marathon Olympic selection race with inflammation of the back of her left thigh, Mizuki Noguchi (33, Team Sysmex) left Kansai Airport Feb. 9 for altitude training in Kunming, China ahead of her new target, the Mar. 11 Nagoya Women's Marathon. Noguchi has resumed interval workouts and is on the way to be ready again for a single, focused attack. "I want to concentrate completely on pulling everything together," she said.
The last chance for Japanese women to qualify for the London Olympics, Nagoya will include last summer's World Championships 5th-place finisher Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), 2009 World Championships silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) and other tough competition. "It's a great field," said Noguchi, "and it'll take everything I have to beat them."