Marathoner Ozaki decides to retire


Former world silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki will retire after running in this month’s Tokyo Marathon.

The 31-year-old Ozaki, who finished 19th at last year’s London Olympics, said Saturday she has lost her motivation to compete. The Tokyo Marathon on Feb. 24 will be her final race.

“After the Olympics, I haven’t been able to set any big goals. I’m unable to stay motivated even when I train,” she said.

The Kanagawa native joined the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. athletics team in 2000 and distinguished herself by placing second in her first competitive marathon in the Nagoya International in 2008. She went on the same year to win the Tokyo International in a personal-best 2 hours, 23 minutes, 30 seconds.

Ozaki has won two out of the nine marathons she ran in and finished runnerup four times. She plans to continue on at Dai-ichi Life and take part in running events with the company.

Her coach, Sachiko Yamashita, said Ozaki could make a comeback.

“She will take some time off, but it’s possible she could be back in the future,” Yamashita said.