Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Personal best: 1:38:32 (Oita, 2001)
Career notes: Wakako Tsuchida defended her Boston Marathon title in 2008, winning by more than seven minutes over Diane Roy. The year before, she had won by more than four minutes. In 2002 she finished third behind Edith Hunkeler and Christina Ripp, and in 2003 was fourth. Tsuchida became the first Japanese Paralympic athlete to win gold medals in both the summer and winter Paralympics when she won the gold medal in the 5,000m wheelchair race in Athens in 2004. She had already captured two gold medals in ice sledge speed racing in the 1998 Winter Paralympic Games in Nagano in the 1,000m and 1,500m events. She also has two medals from the marathon event at the Paralympics, finishing third in 2000 in Sydney (1:50:10) and second in Athens (1:50:13). Her 2008 Paralympics didn't go as well, however. She was involved in a crash near the finish line of the 5,000m that knocked her out of the games. Her personal best came at the 2001 Oita Marathon when she raced a personal best of 1:38:32 to win, more than six minutes ahead of Sandra Graf. She added Oita victories in 1999, 2002 and 2003. She has also won the Honolulu Marathon twice, in 2003 and 2005.
Personal notes: One of Japanís premier Paralympic marathoners, Tsuchida has also won Paralympic and IPC World Championship medals in ice sledge speed racing.
-- Courtesy BAA
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