NAGOYA – Sydney Olympic women’s marathon gold medalist Naoko Takahashi has admitted to media reports that she is in a relationship with her manager and former trainer Ko Nishimura and says she hopes to tie the knot.
“I’m in this relationship based on the assumption that we will marry,” Takahashi, who is affectionately known as “Q-chan,” told reporters in Gifu on Friday. “I hope he’ll take warm care of me.”
Takahashi, 39, met Nishimura, 38, when she was still an active athlete at a training camp in the United States. He served as a trainer on “Team Q” that was formed in 2005.
A smiling Takahashi, who retired in October 2008, said they started dating in 2009 and described Nishimura as “someone I can rely on and feel comfortable with.”
No wedding date or details have been set but Takahashi, using marathon-speak, suggested they were nearly at the finish line.
“I think we’re at the 40-km mark and hopefully we won’t lose speed down the final stretch,” she said.