Sydney Olympic champion Naoko Takahashi began a one-month training camp on Tuesday and is in high spirits about her comeback to competitive marathon racing from an ankle injury.

Takahashi will put her right ankle to the test on Tokunoshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, and appears confident that competing in a marathon this spring is not out of the question.

“I still feel that if things fall together I can compete in the spring,” said Takahashi, who fractured her ankle while training in Colorado last September.

Takahashi completed a half-marathon race in Chiba on Sunday, but her main task on the island will be to get around the 31.2-km course by the end of this month.

“Right now, it (my ankle) feels all right. If I get it to about 70 or 80 percent, I’d like to race in a marathon,” she said. Takahashi’s race on Sunday was her first over 20 km since suffering the fracture.

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