Skip to main content

10000 m National Champ Matsuda Drops 2:22:44 Debut to Win in Osaka



To make a long story short, the three questions in JRN's Osaka International Women's Marathon preview and their answers:
  1. Q: Can straight-arm specialist Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) duplicate her 2:21:36 debut in Nagoya last year after running badly at the London World Championships?
  2. A: No. Part of a trio that went through halfway in 1:11:59, Ando dropped off after 25 km and faded to a 2:27:37 for 3rd.
  3. Q: Can Honami Maeda (Tenmaya), the only Japanese woman to have qualified for the MGC Race so far, run a fast marathon for real after conquering the heat to win August's Hokkaido Marathon in 2:28:48?
  4. A: Yes. Her Hokkaido win was an almost 4-minute PB over her debut in Osaka last year, and with a 10-second negative split this time she chopped another 5 minutes-plus off her best to take 2nd in 2:23:46, replacing now-retired 2017 Osaka winner Risa Shigetomo as the top marathoner in the Tenmaya stable.
  5. Q: What can last year's 10000 m national champion Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) do in her debut?
  6. A: Kick some ass, to the tune of a 2:22:44 win with a 1:11:59 first half and a 1:10:45 second half after taking off hard at 30 km and running the rest of the way alone in snow. With a 16:19 split from 30 km to 35 km, 2:17:42 marathon pace, she and her coach are clearing looking at the problem of how to deal with a big surge in a big race, say one about two and a half years over the horizon. More power to them.
A local Osaka native unafraid to show more than a bit of personality, the 22-year-old Matsuda was very impressive, even in the hard light of Dubai. Her high school teammate Maeda, 21, left her own share of good impressions, taking control of the race with a surge ahead of the pacer at 25 km. Ando, also 22, was somewhat less than impressive this time out. Pre-Osaka Maeda was the only woman to have already qualified for the MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials event, but in Osaka Matsuda joined her with a truckload of room to spare and Ando just made it under the qualifying mark. That's not a bad showing.

Others with a good showing included: 
  • Anja Scherl (Germany), the top non-Japanese finisher at 4th in 2:29:29 after running more conservatively well back in the field in the first half. 
  • 42-year-old Mari Ozaki (Noritz) came up painfully short of her goal of a sub-2:30 but was still good enough for 6th overall in 2:30:03. 
  • University student Hitomi Mizuguchi (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) had a solid debut in 2:33:10 for 8th on the 8-deep podium. 
  • Esther Atkins (U.S.A.) ran almost perfect splits with a 1:18:28 first half and 1:18:29 2nd half for 12th in 2:36:57, her best time on a record-leagl course since 2014.
Not so good were the three  invited Africans, none of whom finished the race. You can't win 'em all. But if the question is how do you win some of 'em, if looks like Matsuda has an idea of the answer.

37th Osaka International Women's Marathon

Osaka, 1/28/18
click here for complete results

1. Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) - 2:22:44 - debut
2. Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) - 2:23:46 - PB
3. Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:27:37
4. Anja Scherl (Germany) - 2:29:29
5. Kaori Yoshida (Team RxL) - 2:29:53
6. Mari Ozaki (Noritz) - 2:30:03
7. Gladys Tejeda (Peru) - 2:30:44
8. Hitomi Mizuguchi (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 2:33:10 - debut
9. Asumi Furuse (Kyocera) - 2:33:58
10. Ayano Ikemitsu (Kagoshima Ginko) - 2:36:18 - debut
11. Sayo Nomura (Uniqlo) - 2:36:52
12. Esther Atkins (U.S.A.) - 2:36:57
13. Izabela Trzaskalska (Poland) - 2:37:18
14. Kanae Shimoyama (Noritz) - 2:38:50
15. Yoshiko Sakamoto (YWC) - 2:39:15
-----
DNF - Eunice Jeptoo (Kenya)
DNF - Fayesa Robi (Ethiopia)
DNF - Gotytom Gebrselase (Ethiopia)

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Metts said…
120 women under 3 hours. What's the record for most under 3?

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

What Value Does Four-Straight Hakone Ekiden Titles Have for Aoyama Gakuin's Athletes and Staff?

An editorial by Nikkan Gendai.

Nothing rings in the New Year like the Hakone Ekiden. With TV viewership ratings around 30% it's one of the most popular sports programs in Japan. The king of that cash cow is Aoyama Gakuin University, winning four-straight Hakone titles since its first victory in 2015. But no matter how well its students perform, every school in Hakone gets the same share of the proceeds, a uniform 2,000,000 yen [~$18,000 USD at current exchange rates].

The AGU team currently includes 44 athletes on its roster. Although athletes can get preferential admission, their tuition is the same as for other students and there are no exemptions or reductions. First year tuition in the Department of Social and Information Studies is around 1,520,000 yen [~$14,000 USD], and with additional fees including dormitory and training camp expenses the burden upon students' parents is considerable.

By comparison, in the United States the NCAA has made its collegiate sports a succes…

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…