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IAAF.org: Noguchi - Practice makes perfection

Japanese preparation was perfect


Monday 23 August 2004
Athens, Greece - Practice, they say, makes perfect. The meticulous planning and practice over the past year by Japans Mizuki Noguchi certainly helped towards the perfect moment when she crossed the finishing line in the Panathinaiko Stadium at the end of probably the most gruelling women’s Olympic Marathon.

Japanese preparation was perfect

Noguchi’s 2:26:20 not only broke the existing course record by five minutes, but it also broke the resolve of all her rivals, including the two fastest women of all time, Kenya’s Catherine Ndereba, who won the silver medal, and Paula Radcliffe, of Great Britain, whose race finished, slumped on the roadside, her head in her hands.

While Radcliffe is known for her meticulous preparation, the former World Cross Country champion’s build-up to the Olympics was far less specific than Noguchi’s.

While Radcliffe spent a month in southern Spain for heat acclimatisation training and visited the notoriously tough Marathon to Athens course just a week before the race, Noguchi spent six months training in heat and at altitude, first in Kunming in China and then, just as she did before winning silver at last year’s World Championships in Paris, at St Moritz in Switzerland.

She broke from the training regime

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