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Naoko Takahashi

Full name: Naoko Takahashi
Original name: 高橋 尚子
Gender: Female
Height: 5'3" (161 cm)
Weight: 115 lbs (52 kg)
Born: May 6, 1972 in Gifu, Gifu, Japan
Affiliations: Sekisui Chemical
Country: JPN Japan
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

Marathon running for women is a very popular sport in Japan, and two Japanese women had won world titles in the marathon prior to 2000. But no Japanese woman had won the Olympic marathon title - or even any Olympic track and field title. That was changed by Naoko Takahashi. After competing in the 5,000 m at the 1997 World Championships, she switched to the marathon, a successful move. In 1998, she won her first marathon (in Nagoya), and later that year she emerged victorious at the Asian Games in Bangkok, winning by a huge, 13-minute margin. She was favoured for a medal at the 1999 World Championship, but a knee injury prevented participation. The following year in Sydney, Takahashi won her second international title, beating Lidia Şimon by a mere 8 seconds to win the Olympic gold medal. In 2001, she bettered the world record in Berlin, becoming the first woman to complete a marathon in less than 2 hours 20 minutes. While she would go on to win a total of seven marathons (Nagoya (twice), Berlin (twice), Tokyo, Sydney and Bangkok), she never ran another international championships due to injuries. She retired in October 2008.

Personal Best: Mar – 2-19:46 (2001).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
2000 Summer 28 Sydney Athletics Women's Marathon Japan JPN 1 Gold OR

Women's Marathon

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
2000 Summer 28 Sydney Athletics Japan Final Standings 1 OR 2-23:14