Noguchi not running in Osaka race

Kyodo

Injury-plagued 2004 Athens Olympic champion Mizuki Noguchi has withdrawn from Sunday’s Osaka International Women’s Marathon because of left hamstring inflammation, organizers said Wednesday.

Noguchi will instead run the Nagoya Women’s Marathon on March 11, the last of the three domestic selection races for the London Olympics.

Hisakazu Hirose, head coach of the Sysmex corporate athletics team, said, “Noguchi will be able to resume training after resting for a week to 10 days, but she isn’t in condition to run Sunday.”

In Osaka, the 33-year-old was going to run her first marathon in more than four years, after making two trips to the U.S. state of Colorado for high-altitude training in the last three months.

She complained of discomfort in her leg just before the end of her second trip and went to hospital in Japan last Friday.

“Not to be able to run the Osaka marathon is a shock to me,” Noguchi said in a statement through the organizers. “But I’ll just accept what happened and prepare myself for Nagoya. I’ll never give up (on earning an Olympic berth).”

Noguchi could not defend her title at the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to leg injuries.