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Olympic champion Mizuki Noguchi plans to make her first appearance in a competitive marathon race this fall since winning the women’s marathon gold medal in Athens last summer, her coach said Monday.

Nobuyuki Fujita said Noguchi intends to take part in the Sapporo international half-marathon on July 3 as part of her preparation to run a full marathon in the fall, probably outside Japan.

Noguchi won at the Athens Games in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 20 seconds, giving Japan back-to-back Olympic titles following Naoko Takahashi’s victory in Sydney in 2000.

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