Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Personal best: 1:38:32 (Oita, 2001)
Career notes: Wakako Tsuchidaís return to Boston was a victorious one, as she won her first Boston title by over four minutes. She had previously finished third in 2002, behind Edith Hunkeler and Christina Ripp in 1:50:09. In 2003, she finished fourth in 2:02:43. 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 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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