Noguchi to wear "magic" rice-husk shoes at Olympics

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TOKYO, Nov 23 (Reuters) Japan's Mizuki Noguchi will wear a pair of ''magic shoes'' made of rice husks in her bid to win a second straight Olympic marathon gold in Beijing next year.

The 29-year-old hopes her cryogenic pumps will help reduce the temperature of her feet if, as expected, she makes Japan's 2008 Olympic team.

The grip on the new shoes contains a mixture of rice husks which the designers say will improve air-flow in Beijing's stifling summer heat next year.

''They are so light and really easy to run in,'' Noguchi, who won gold at the 2004 Athens Games, told Japan's Nikkan Sports today.

''They're like magic shoes.'' Noguchi moved closer to defending her Olympic title, and a possible rematch with Britain's Paula Radcliffe, by winning last Sunday's Tokyo International Marathon.

REUTERS RAR SSC1405

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