May 12, 2010 / 12:07 PM / 9 years ago

Marathon queen Takahashi opens veggie farm

Japan's Olympic champion Naoko Takahashi crosses the finish line of the 29th Berlin marathon September 29, 2002.

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s former Olympic marathon queen Naoko Takahashi has swapped her running spikes for a pair of wellies and embarked on a new career as a vegetable farmer.

The 37-year-old, who won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, opened her own farm on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido this week, planting pumpkin and broccoli seeds and giant radishes.

“I’m so nervous and excited — it’s like being on the start line for a marathon,” Takahashi told Japanese media. “The proof will be in the pudding.”

Takahashi shot to fame with her gold medal run at the 2000 Olympics, and also her choice of supplement drink, derived from the stomach acid of killer hornets.

Reporting by Alastair Himmer. Editing by Ossian Shine

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