April 15, 2016

TOKYO (AP) Olympic marathon champion Mizuki Noguchi announced her retirement on Friday.

The 37-year-old Noguchi, who won gold at the Athens 2004 Olympics, said at a press conference ''I've had a happy athletics career.''

Noguchi set the Japanese record of 2 hours, 19 minutes and 12 seconds at the 2005 Berlin Marathon.

She qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics but was forced to miss the games because of injury.

Noguchi won on her full marathon debut at Nagoya in 2002 and won the silver medal at the world championships in Paris the following year.

Her decision to retire comes after she finished 23rd at the Nagoya Women's Marathon last month and failed to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

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