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Naokos yellow rose on Japanese television

Naoko Takahashi left Berlin

2002-10-05

On Sunday, Yoshide Koide, Naoko Takahashis trainer, stood at the finish line of the 29th real,- BERLIN-MARATHON, surprisingly with a yellow rose in his hand. It was surprising because it is not like him to give out flowers. When Naoko victoriously crossed the finish line he gave her the rose - Naoko, with the rose in her hand, bowed to the numerous photographers on the photographers bridge, and the photo went around the world, appearing in many international newspapers. Japanese TV also transmitted this scene - remarking that the flower had come from a little Japanese girl in Berlin. One Berlin family received a call from Tokyo right after the TV pictures were shown, asking if they knew who the little girl was.

The little girl from Berlin is Julia Nagista ("After the Big Storm") Bentert, daughter of a Japanese mother and a German father. She is 7 years old and in second grade in the Japanese supplementary school (1 x per week) of the Halensee School. Julia had given the rose to the trainer at the 40 km mark on the corner of Konstanzer Street and Duisburger Street while he was stopped to look at all of the Japanese flags being waved. Julia had stood there the year before as well, and remembered the trainer. The phonecall from Tokyo came from her Japanese grandmother.

Naoko Takahashi was officially sent off on Wednesday from the Tegel Airport by Race Director Horst Milde for her flight to Milano (to go shopping) while her trainer Yoshide Koide flew back to Boulder (USA).


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