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Mizuki Noguchi (Japanese: 野口みずき, born July 3, 1978) is a long-distance athlete (track and field) from Japan. She was born in Kanagawamarker, but grew up in Ise in Ise city in Mie. She started competing in track and field during her first year of middle school. While attending Ujiyamada Commercial High School, she entered the national high school track meet and competed in the 3000m and the long-distance relay.

Noguchi was the leader of Japan's women's marathon team in the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing.

In 1997 she was hired by Wacoal, a maker of women's clothing, as part of their "Spark Angels" program of sponsored women athletes. However, in October of the following year the director, Nobuyuki Fujita (藤田信之), left over differences with the company. He took with him a coach and a few athletes, including Noguchi. While she was receiving unemployment benefits for a short time, she remained active athletically. In February 1999, Fujita and all his followers were hired by Globaly, a commodity futures firm.

After winning the Inuyama half-marathon in 1999, she was inspired to concentrate her efforts on that event. She was ranked second in the world that year, and in 2001 she won in the all-Japan corporate league. With a string of victories, she became known as "Queen of the Half Marathon". Continuing through the Miyazaki Women's Road Race competition in January 2004, she competed in 24 half marathons, and won 14 of them. Only twice was she beaten by another Japanese athlete.

In March 2002 she entered her first full marathon, the Nagoya International Women's Marathon, and won. In January 2003 she won the Osaka International Women's Marathon with a time of 2 hours 21 minutes 18 seconds, the second-fastest on record for Japan.

In 2005, as Globaly closed futures trade department and athletic team, Fujita and all his followers moved to Sysmex, an analysis instruments manufacturer, in December.

2004 Olympic Marathon Champion

On 22 August 2004 in Athens, Greece, Mizuki Noguchi became an Olympic Marathon Champion when she won the gold medal in an epic race of Homeric proportions, full of drama. To secure the gold medal Noguchi overcame a top-class field which included world record holder Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain, and the 2003 world champion Catherine Ndereba of Kenya. The race over the Classic course had begun with temperatures exceeding 95-degree (35°C) and a leading pack of 12 stayed together through halfway in 1 hour 14 minutes. Noguchi made her move on the tough uphill section between the 25-kilometer (15.5 miles) and 30-kilometer (18.6 miles) marks. When she reached the 30-kilometer sign, after running the previous 5 kilometers in just under 17 minutes, she had a 26-second lead on Elfenesh Alemu of Ethiopia and a 32-second lead on Radcliffe, Heading into the streets of downtown Athens, Noguchi used her bouncing stride to hold off Catherine Ndereba, who closed the gap over the final 5 kilometers but could not make up the difference. Noguchi won in 2 hours 26 minutes 20 seconds. Ndereba finished 12 seconds behind Noguchi. Deena Kastor of the United States took the bronze at 2:27:20.

Prize history

In the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athensmarker, she won the gold medal in the Women's Marathon event at 2:26:20.

She also won a silver medal in the World Championships 2003 in Paris.

Current events

On September 25, 2005 Noguchi won the Berlin Marathon, which was her first big competition since winning the gold medal in Athens over a year ago. Four years ago, the Berlin Marathon was won by Naoko Takahashi, the Japanese runner who took the Olympic gold medal in Sydney in 2000. Takahashi's remarkable win in 2001 in Berlin marked the first time in history that a woman ran sub-2:20, clocking in at 2 hours, 19 minutes and 46 seconds. Noguchi improved on Takahashi's time by more than half-a minute, winning the 2005 Marathon in 2:19:12. Noguchi's time set three new records: the Berlin Marathon course record, the Japanese record, and the Asian record.

After the victory, she declared:

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