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TSUCHIDA Wakako
Sport Para athletics, Ice Sledge Speed Racing, Para Triathlon
NPC Japan   
GenderWomen
Age47
Place of BirthTokyo, JPN
Height1.60 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
T54
Further Personal Information
Family
Son Yoshimasa
Languages
Japanese
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up Para athletics in 1996.
Why this sport?
She previously competed in ice sledge speed racing. After ice sledge speed racing was removed from the Paralympic programme following the 1998 Paralympic Winter Games in Nagano, she decided to switch her focus to athletics.
Club / Team
Yachiyo Industry : Japan
General Interest
Nicknames
Wako (Athlete, 16 Jul 2013)
Most influential person in career
Her family. (nikkei.com, 29 Feb 2016)
Hero / Idol
Her mother. (Athlete, 16 Jul 2013)
Injuries
She sustained an injury to her waist area during the 5000m at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. She had to withdraw from the marathon in Beijing and required two months to recover. (mainichi.jp, 07 Jul 2015; paralympic.org, 08 Apr 2021)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"There was a time I tried too hard and it felt like I was making fruitless efforts. I realised that being my usual self is the key to performing at my best. It's not easy, though, because athletes tend to push themselves to the limit." (paralympic.org, 08 Apr 2021)
Awards and honours
She has received the Prime Minister's Award in Japan during her career. (Athlete, 24 Jan 2011)
Other sports
She won two gold medals in ice sledge speed racing at the 1998 Paralympic Winter Games in Nagano. She has also represented Japan in Para triathlon, and won a silver medal at the 2018 World Championships in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. (SportsDeskOnline, 08 Jan 2021; city.yokohama.jp, 18 Jul 2017; paraphoto.org, 22 Jun 2017; mainichi.jp, 07 Jul 2015)
Milestones
At the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens she became the first athlete from Japan to win gold medals at both the summer and winter Paralympic Games. She claimed gold in the 5000m wheelchair race in Athens, six years after capturing gold medals in the 1000m and 1500m ice sledge speed racing events at the 1998 Paralympic Winter Games in Nagano. (boston.com, 20 Apr 2009)
Ambitions
To compete in both athletics and triathlon at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (paralympic.org, 08 Apr 2021)
Impairment
Her impairment is the result of a traffic accident in 1992. (mainichi.jp, 07 Jul 2015; cyclowired.jp, 14 Feb 2014)
Other information
TRIATHLON AND ATHLETICS
After the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she switched from athletics to triathlon after developing exercise-induced asthma. She went on to win a silver medal at the 2018 Para Triathlon World Championships in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, and set herself the goal of competing in both athletics and triathlon at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. "I didn't have much experience in swimming so at first, I was afraid and it [triathlon] was difficult. I just kept practising in seawater. Swimming is very good for maintaining a healthy body, and I no longer suffered from asthma. I was able to compete in athletics again. I hope to participate in both the triathlon and the marathon at the Tokyo 2020 Games. I'll train hard to secure a place in those events and make a mark at the Paralympic Games." In July 2021 she was offered a bipartite allocation place from World Triathlon to compete in the sport in Tokyo. (paralympic.org, 08 Apr 2021; insidethegames.biz, 06 Jul 2021)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games (Overall) - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
6 2000 1500m T54 3:49.91
4 2000 5000m T54 12:47.24
6 2000 800m T54  DNF
3 2000 Marathon T54 1:50:10
1 2004 5000m T54 11:59.51 
2 2004 Marathon T54 1:50:13 
6 2012 5000m T54 12:29.05
5 2012 Marathon T54 1:49:02
4 2016 Marathon T54 1:38:45
4 2021 Marathon T54 1:38:32
World Championships - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
8 2002 800m T54 2:05.16
4 2002 1500m T54 3:46.18
4 2002 5000m T54 13:28.85
4 2011 5000m T54 13:15.14
3 2011 1500m T54 3:36.75
1 2011 Marathon T54 1:48:24
6 2013 5000m T54 12:10.07
2 2013 1500m T54 3:34.39
2 2013 Marathon T54 1:49:45
Paralympic Games - Para Triathlon
Rank Year Event Result
9 2021 PTWC 1:22:32
World Championships - Para Triathlon
Rank Year Event Result
  2017 PTWC  DNS
2 2018 PTWC 1:09:51
11 2019 PTWC 1:30:47
Marathon World Championships - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
7 2015 Marathon T53/54 1:56:48
World Ranking (2018/01/01) - Para Triathlon
Rank Year Event Result
7 2018 PTWC  
3 2018 PTWC  
3 2018 PTWC  
World Paralympic Qualification Event - Para Triathlon
Rank Year Event Result
1 2019 PTWC 59:44