Sydney Olympic champion Naoko Takahashi said Tuesday she has been persuaded by her coach to give up plans to return to competitive marathon racing this spring as she has yet to fully recover from an ankle injury.

The 32-year-old, who fractured her right ankle at a training camp in Colorado in late September, resumed workouts in January with an eye on competing this spring but has apparently switched gears and will now aim to take part in domestic or overseas races in top form in the fall.

“I’ve done everything I can but unfortunately I had to think about my future in making this decision,” said Takahashi, who is currently training in Tokunoshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture.

“My coach (Yoshio Koide) told me to take it easy and not rush anything. I’m going to remember those words and stay positive as I continue my running career,” she said.

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