29th adidas Runners City Night on 31 July 2021

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IAAF.org: Takahashi returns, but is she healthy?


Making her first marathon appearance since 2003, Naoko Takahashi, the 2000 Olympic champion, will be the chief attraction at Sunday’s Tokyo Women’s Marathon, which doubles as the 89th National Championship and the qualifying race for next year’s Asian Games. Naoko Takahashi is a double real,- BERLIN MARATHON champion from 2001 and 2002. In 2001 she became the first women ever to break 2:20, when she won the real,- BERLIN MARATHON with 2:19:46.

But as marathon fans look forward to seeing if Takahashi can find her old form, a recent training injury begs another question: can Takahashi even finish in her return race?

Late hour injury for Takahashi

“I picked up a multiple strain injury a day after I returned from Boulder,” Takahashi told a crowded press conference. “It was fifty minutes into my morning run when I started to feel a pain in my right calf. I continued to run but was forced to stop ten minutes later. Because I continued to run I also hurt my right hamstring and left leg.”

Upon examination, her doctor advised her not to run. “He said it wasn’t a good idea to run,” Takahashi said, “but as long as I would stop running when the pain got worse, then it would be okay to start the race.”

She ran her last marathon here two years and few days ago, where she failed to qualify for the 2004 Japanese Olympic team.

"I have given a lot of thought as to where to run my next marathon,” Takahashi said. “Because of my failure at the 2003 Tokyo Women's marathon, I felt as if my clock had come to a halt two years ago. So I felt I must run here to restart my clock.”

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