Noguchi cancels start at real,- Berlin Marathon due to injury

The Olympic Champion in the marathon, Mizuki Noguchi had to call off her participation in the 33rd real,- BERLIN-MARATHON on September 24 due to injury, Race Director Mark Milde announced today. The 28 year-old Japanese woman won the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON in 2005 with a course and Asian record time of 2:19:12, making her the third fastest female marathon runner of all time.

"We greatly regret that Mizuki Noguchi will not be able to compete on September 24," said Mark Milde, adding: "We wish Mizuki Noguchi all the best for her recovery and hope that we will see her take part in the real,- BERLIN-MARATON again in the future." As last year, Mizuki Noguchi has been in high-altitude training in St. Moritz since the middle of July in preparation for the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON. Prior to that she won the Sapporo Half Marathon, and her training times were better than last year. In the middle of August she slipped in her bathroom and injured her hip. After a few days of rest she was able to continue training, but at the end of August she started having problems with her foot. These problems could not be alleviated in time, so that in the end Mizuki Noguchi had to quit her preparations for the real,- BERLIN MARATHON. She will not run another marathon this year.

It is the first time in ten years that a top athlete had to drop out of the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON on short notice. "Over the past years we have always been lucky with our starts - unfortunately, not this time. Nonetheless, I still believe that we will have a very good women's race," Mark Milde said. The new favourites for a now open race are the Ethiopian Gete Wami (personal best: 2:22:19) and the Kenyan Salina Kosgei (2:24:32). For the men, superstar Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) will be competing.

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