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Yoko Shibui, who injured her left knee while training in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming, will miss the upcoming Nagoya Marathon, sponsors said Tuesday.

Sponsors for the March 9 meet said Shibui’s coach, Hideo Suzuki, requested that she sit out the race due to the seriousness of the injury recently suffered during a practice session in the mountainous Chinese region.

Shibui, who took third at last October’s Chicago Marathon, returned to Japan for treatment last Thursday a week earlier than expected but her entry in the race has become impossible.

She had planned to run in Nagoya to earn a spot at the Paris World Championships in August and subsequently secure a medal as the top Japanese finisher at the Paris meet to book a place at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Along with Sydney gold medalist Naoko Takahashi, Shibui will have to run in one of three Olympic qualifiers starting with the Tokyo Marathon in November.

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