translated by Brett Larner
Moscow World Championships women's marathon bronze medalist Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) returned to Japan on August 15 at Osaka's Kansai Airport, saying with a wide, ironic smile, "I guess I'm about to get buried by the consequences of this." Fukushi ran on the track in four World Championships, but in her first appearance in the marathon she finally achieved what she has secretly wanted all along, a medal. In the Kansai Airport arrival lobby she received an ovation from the crowds of Obon holiday travelers, never losing her smile as she dryly said, "A medal is pretty super awesome. I'll be sure to tell my ancestors."
With regard to her plans for future marathons she said, "I might change my mind at some point, but I've had enough. I won't do any more." She plans to take an extended break, returning in time for December's National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships.
Moscow 4th-place finisher Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) who dropped out of the race partway, also returned to Japan at Tokyo's Narita Airport. Showing her disappointment and missing out on the medals, Kizaki commented, "I met my absolute minimum goal, but there's an enormous difference between 3rd and 4th." Her plans for her next marathon are not yet decided, but, she said, "To begin with, I have to start preparing to run the ekiden with everyone on my team." Noguchi indicated that she intends to continue with her career as an athlete, saying firmly, "I'm not giving up and will keep trying my hardest."