translated by Brett Larner
2009 World Championships women's marathon silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (31, Team Daiichi Seimei) announced Feb. 16 that she will retire from competitive running following the Feb. 24 Tokyo Marathon. Ozaki realized her dream of making the Olympics, finishing 19th at last summer's London Olympics. After that, she said, "I didn't have any goals left in the marathon." She plans to leave the Daiichi Seimei team to take some time off.
Ozaki joined Daiichi Seimei in 2000 after graduating from Soyo H.S. in Kanagawa. She began running marathons in 2008, and in her second shot at the distance she won the 2008 Tokyo International Women's Marathon in what remained her PB, 2:23:30. Of her nine marathons she won twice and finished 2nd four times, earning a reputation for consistency. In addition to the Olympics she ran in the 2009 and 2011 World Championships. While at Daiichi Seimei she was part of two National Corporate Women's Ekiden champion teams in 2002 and 2011.
Ozaki will remain with the Daiichi Seimei company and will make guest appearances at amateur running events. Head coach Sachiko Yamashita commented, "She is taking a complete break, but if she gets the desire to compete back there is a chance she'll return."