Athens Olympic women’s marathon champion Mizuki Noguchi said Saturday she has all but recovered from the left groin injury that forced her to withdraw from last summer’s Beijing Games.
Noguchi has already started jogging, although a date for her comeback has yet to be determined as she is not yet back into full-scale practice.
“I am able to run with a good rhythm,” said Noguchi. “I’ll be able to return to racing once I can practice a bit more. I shouldn’t rush it.”
Noguchi hastily resumed training last fall despite still feeling some discomfort and her recovery has taken longer than expected as a result.
She had not been running since the injury flared up at the end of January but started jogging after getting positive results from medical tests about three weeks ago.
In Noguchi’s absence in Beijing, Japan was pinning its hopes on Reiko Tosa extending the country’s proud record of medaling in every Olympics since Yuko Arimori won the silver at the 1992 Barcelona Games, but the world bronze medalist struggled early on and retired.