Naoko Takahashi at the 2008 Nagoya Women's International Marathon
Naoko Takahashi (高橋 尚子, Takahashi Naoko, born May 6, 1972) is a retired Japanese long-distance runner. She won the gold medal in the marathon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and in 2001 became the first woman to complete a marathon in under 2:20:00.
Takahashi was born in Gifu in 1972. She started running track in junior high school, and placed 2nd in the 1500 meter and 3rd in the 3000 meter races at the Japanese national collegiate championships while attending Osaka Gakuin University. Following graduation, she sought out the prominent distance running coach Yoshio Koide (coach) and began training under him. She supplemented her training regimen in Japan with altitude training in Colorado.
In March 1998, running in her second marathon, Takahashi set a Japanese women's record of 2:25:48 at the Nagoya Women's Marathon. Two months later, she won the 5000 meter race in the Osaka Japan Grand Prix. Later in December of that same year, Takahashi set a new Japanese women's marathon record when she won the Asian Games marathon in Bangkok with a time of 2:21:47 under very warm conditions.
In March 2000, Takahashi earned a spot on Japan's Olympic women's marathon team after winning the Nagoya Women's Marathon in a time of 2:22:19. She went on to win the women's marathon at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, with an Olympic record time of 2:23:14. It remained the fastest women's Olympic marathon until 2012 in London. Following her gold medal victory, Takahashi received the 2000 AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award as well as Japan's People's Honour Award.
At the 2001 Berlin Marathon, Takahashi became the first woman to break the 2 hour 20 minute barrier, finishing in a world record time of 2:19:46. In the women's marathon event (and not counting multiple records set by the same athlete), she still holds the 7th best time and the 3rd best Japanese marathon performance behind Yoko Shibui (2:19:41) and Mizuki Noguchi (2:19:12). The following year, Takahashi won the 2002 Berlin Marathon with a time of 2:21:49.
During her running career, Takahashi suffered from a series of injuries. She announced her retirement in October 2008.
Since her retirement from competitive running, Takahashi has also worked as a sportscaster, marathon commentator, served as a Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) executive, and served as an executive member of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations (JAAF).
|Jan. 1997||Osaka International Women's Marathon||2:31:32||7th place|
|Mar. 1998||Nagoya International Women's Marathon||2:25:48||1st place, Japanese record at the time|
|Dec. 1998||Bangkok Asian Games||2:21:47||gold medal, Japanese record at the time|
|Mar. 2000||Nagoya International Women's Marathon||2:22:19||1st place|
|Sep. 2000||Sydney Olympics||2:23:14||gold medal, Olympic record at the time|
|Feb. 2001||OHME Marathon (30 km)||1:41:57||Japanese record at the time|
|Sep. 2001||Berlin Marathon||2:19:46||1st place, World Record at the time|
|Sep. 2002||Berlin Marathon||2:21:49||1st|
|Nov. 2003||Tokyo International Women's Marathon||2:27:21||2nd|
|Nov. 2005||Tokyo International Women's Marathon||2:24:39||1st|
|Nov. 2006||Tokyo International Women's Marathon||2:31:22||3rd|
|Mar. 2008||Nagoya Marathon||2:44:18||27th|
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- Sandrock, Mike (2016-07-31). "Boulder plays big role in Japanese runners' success".
- Havens, Thomas R. H. (2015). Marathon Japan: Distance Racing and Civic Culture. University of Hawaii Press. p. 103. ISBN 9780824854133.
- "Nagoya International Women's Marathon". Retrieved 2021-08-14.
- "World Athletics: Naoko Takahashi". World Athletics. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
- "Sydney marathon champion Takahashi to retire". Agence France-Presse. 2008-10-28. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2008-10-28.
- Race Outline Archived 2013-04-29 at the Wayback Machine. Gifu Marathon. Retrieved on 2013-05-20.
- "Japan Holds "Arigato in London" at London County Hall". www.dnaindia.com. 2012-07-05.
- "Japan's Marathon Women Can Still Aim for the Win – translated by Brett Larner – Japan Running News". germanroadraces.de. 2014-08-13.
- "Organizing Committee Naoko Takahashi and 12 other female directors appointed The ratio of female directors exceeds 40%". www.tellerreport.com. 2021-03-03.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Naoko Takahashi.|
- Naoko Takahashi at World Athletics
- Takahashi taking life in stride 01-09-2003 http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2003/01/09/more-sports/takahashi-taking-life-in-stride/
- Takahashi setting sights on another Olympic gold in 2004 01-10-2003 http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2003/01/10/more-sports/takahashi-setting-sights-on-another-olympic-gold-in-2004/
- "The Distance: the story of an enduring Japanese marathon tradition and a humble champion named Naoko Takahashi who captured her nation's imagination with a run for the ages at the 2000 Olympic Games". Five Ring Films. Retrieved 2021-08-14.