translated by Brett Larner
2004 Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (34, Team Sysmex) left from Tokyo's Narita Airport on May 22 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado. Interviewed prior to her departure, she said that she is aiming to make the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Following her withdrawal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics Noguchi struggled with injuries for years, but after a 3rd-place finish at March's Nagoya Women's Marathon she made her first national team in ten years, qualifying for the Moscow World Championships marathon squad and signaling that she is well on her way to a complete return to form. "Last year I didn't have it in me [to make the Olympics], but since Nagoya I've felt the way I used to," she said. "My injury problems have finally gone away."
Noguchi will be training in Boulder together with the other Moscow World Championships women's team members until late June. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) is already there, with Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) scheduled to join them in early June. "I'm really excited, and it should give us all extra motivation," Noguchi said of the group training. "We will have the chance to build up a sense of teamwork that we can bring into play in the big race."