Olympic Stories

Mizuki Noguchi

Mizuki Noguchi

Mizuki Noguchi is a world professional long distance (marathon) runner, and was born in Japan on 3rd July 1978. Mizuki was born in Kanagawa but grew up in Ise City in Mie. At middle school, she began running, competing against school friends on the track and the field.  Her speciality is marathon running, and she is a champion of the Olympics and has two world records under her belt.

She was already entering competitions at high school. She ran in the National High School Track Meet and the 3000 metre relay.

In 1997, a female clothing manufacturer called Wacoal hired her as part of their ‘Spark Angels’ program to sponsor young female athletes. The following year, the director of Wacoal had a dispute with the company and left, taking with him some of the athletes including  Mizuki.

He also took a coach with the team to keep training the young women. Then in 1999, the group of runners were hired by a commodity futures company called ‘Globaly’. But later in 2005, the company closed their future trading arm and athletic team, so the team of runners along with the coach and director moved to another company called Sysmex, who were an analysis instruments manufacturing company.

As mentioned, Mizuki started out her running career in cross country and track running, and at just 21 years old she won her first major title in the Asian Cross Country Championship. Very soon after this she moved into the road running field, but put her talents into the half marathon at first.

In 1999 she entered the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, where she won the silver medals for both her individual and team performances. The following year she entered again and won the team silver medal again, but only managed fourth place in the individuals competition.

Soon she would turn to full marathons, where she shone. In 2003, she entered into the Nagoya Marathon and Osaka Marathon, and won both with ease. The same year at the World Championships in Athletics, she ran and took 2nd place winning herself yet another silver medal. A year later in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, Mizuki managed to grab gold becoming the female champion of the Olympics.

In 2005, she then entered into the Berlin Marathon up against many other great runners, and took the gold medal after finishing in first place with a time of 2:19:12. This set the new world record for the 25 kilometre check point and the 30 kilometre checkpoint. This was also a new Asian record over the distance.

Just before the Beijing Olympics of 2008, Mizuki had already set the world’s second fastest time for the previous year, but she had to pull out of all races after being diagnosed with fatigue and a back muscle condition. This meant that she had to miss the 2008 Olympics as well as the whole 2009 running season. Mizuki is clearly one of the great runners of our time and her achievements are outstanding.

Career Highlights

  • 2004 Athens Olympic Games - Gold
  • 2003 World Championships – Silver

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