TOKYO, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Japan's former Olympic marathon champion Naoko Takahashi has donated her winning bib at the 2000 Sydney Olympics to the World Athletics Heritage Collection, athletics' global governing body has announced.
World Athletics said in a statement that Takahashi, the first woman to run a marathon in under two hours 20 minutes, wore bib number 2338 during her victory at the Sydney Olympics.
Takahashi clocked an Olympic marathon record of 2:23:14 on September 24, 2000 to become the first Japanese woman to win an Olympic gold over the 42km distance. Her Olympic record time was not broken until 2012.
"I am happy to see my Sydney bib join the Heritage collection," said 48-year-old Takahashi. "I would like the bib's donation increase interest in the marathon, and the challenge and beauty of distance running. It might also help motivate more people to take up running for fitness and fun, or perhaps even competitively, picturing themselves in my shoes."
A superstar in Japan, Takahashi won her first major international title at the Bangkok Asian Games in 1998. After her victory in Sydney, she went on to win the Berlin Marathon in 2001 in a then-world record time of 2:19:46. She retained her title in the German capital in 2002 and captured another Grand Slam trophy in the 2005 Tokyo Marathon before retiring in October 2008. Enditem