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Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Friday, 23 May 2008 17:39 UK

Yamauchi ready for altitude test

Oxford marathon runner Mara Yamauchi is set to train at altitude in Switzerland in attempt to be in peak fitness ahead of the Olympics

By Ross Heaton

Oxford marathon runner Mara Yamauchi is set to train at altitude in Switzerland in attempt to be in peak fitness ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

"My main goal is to get there in the best possible condition I can be in and then give it 100%," she said.

The 34-year-old set a personal best time on her way to winning the Osaka marathon in January.

"Obviously it would be great to win a medal, but the top eight is more realistic," Yamauchi told BBC Oxford.

I want to go there and give it my best and then I can go away knowing I couldn't give any more.

Mara Yamauchi

She is hopeful that it will not take too much time for her to acclimatise to conditions in Beijing and has already travelled twice from her home in Tokyo to assess the route.

"I want to go there and give it my best and then I can go away knowing I couldn't give any more," she added.

Yamauchi, who is now based permanently in Japan after she shelved her career as a diplomat, also paid tribute to her husband Shige who works as her full-time coach.

"I can concentrate 100% on training. Shige helps me a great deal, he's not working so he can help me and that allows me really to focus on training, nutrition and all the things athletes have to do."



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