• Kyodo


Mizuki Noguchi, the winner of the women’s marathon gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, has decided to retire, athletics sources said Thursday.

The 37-year-old Noguchi, who failed to qualify for this summer’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics after finishing 23rd at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon last month, is set to officially announce her decision at a news conference on Friday, according to the sources.

Noguchi was second in the women’s world half-marathon in 1999 and after a string of victories she went on to become known as the “Queen of the Half Marathon.”

She won her full marathon debut at the Nagoya race in 2002 and went on to capture the silver medal at the world championships in Paris the next year.

Noguchi followed up Naoko Takahashi’s 2000 Sydney Olympic victory by winning in Athens four years later and she set the Japanese record of 2 hours, 19 minutes 12 seconds at the 2005 Berlin Marathon.

Noguchi was chosen to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but she was forced to miss those Games because of injury.

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