Skip to main content

Sho Matsumoto Looking to Take Down Kawauchi and Pick Up His Ticket to Worlds

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20121126/ath12112605020003-n1.html

translated by Brett Larner

At the Nov. 25 Koedo Kawagoe Half Marathon, Kawagoe resident Sho Matsumoto, 27, won overall in a course record time of 1:05:33.  As a first-year at Tokyo University he showed his determination by making the 2005 Hakone Ekiden on the Kanto Regional University Select Team.  Crossing Kawagoe's finish line with arms outspread almost eight years later, he outran all the invited university runners in the field.  "That was a lot faster than I planned," he said with a rueful smile.  "I'm surprised too.  Maybe I overdid it a little....."  The truth is that Matsumoto is entered to run next weekend's Fukuoka International Marathon, a selection race for the 2013 Moscow World Championships.  "I just planned to go out at a moderate, conservative pace, but it was feeling easy and I found myself running in 2nd.  With 500 m to go I kicked for the win.  I'm probably going to pay for it next week."

At Kobayashi H.S. in his native Miyazaki, Matsumoto ran the National High School Ekiden Championships as a first-year and again as a third-year.  After entering Tokyo University he ran the 2005 Hakone Ekiden on the Kanto Regional University Select Team, finishing 10th on the Eighth Stage.  The fact that the elite Tokyo University even had a running team became news, and Matsumoto earned a reputation as a top scholar-athlete.

After graduating he joined the TEPCO corporate ekiden team but resigned after three years.*  He now works at the Nikkei Business Service company in Shinjuku, Tokyo.  Since quitting the TEPCO team, as an amateur he frequently runs in Yoyogi Park nearby his office and on the Koedo Kawagoe Half Marathon course in Kawagoe Suijo Park near his home.  He typically runs 10 to 20 km on weekdays and reserves his 30 km long runs for weekends, a perfectly ordinary training schedule.

Burning in Matsumoto's mind, however, is his greatest rival, the role model for amateurs everywhere, Yuki Kawauchi, 25.  Kawauchi is also on the entry list for Fukuoka.  Matsumoto couldn't ask for a better chance for a good fight.  "(In Fukuoka) I want to be up front and on TV in the first half," he says.  "If I don't blow up in the second half then hopefully I can finish around 2:13."  With his times steadily improving lately, Matsumoto says his ultimate goal is, "to break 2:10 and make the Japanese National Team in the marathon."  Next week may well turn into a battle between amateurs for a Moscow ticket, and that is sure to create some buzz.

*Translator's note: This would likely mean that Matsumoto quit the team following the Mar. 11, 2011 disasters, when members of TEPCO's ekiden team were sent to help with cleanup in Fukushima after the explosions at TEPCO's nuclear plants in that area.  

Matsumoto's recent results include a 2:19:26 win, a PB by 6:53, at the Oct. 28 Oikawa Marathon and a 1:04:01 at the Nov. 18 Ageo City Half Marathon.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Japan's 2020 Tokyo Olympics Marathon Trials Are Here - MGC Race Viewing Guide

It’s almost here. Japan’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials. The Marathon Grand Championships Race. All of Japan’s best marathoners. All in one place. All in one race. What the people have always wanted. The first national Olympic trials race to be recognized with Gold Label status by the IAAF. The only one that legitimately met the Gold Label requirements. It was the hardest marathon ever to qualify for. It should be the best marathon of 2019. It could be the most tedious. Maybe both.

If you’re in Japan you can watch the live broadcast of the men’s race on TBS at 8:50 and the women’s race on NHK starting twenty minutes later. If you’re not in Japan your options for being part of it are limited. There is an official live stream of the men's race via Paravi, a paid service with a 30-day free trial. It's not clear if it's available overseas and signup looks to be only in Japanese. NHK's TV broadcast is available in some areas outside Japan. It’s also live streaming b…

Nakamura and Maeda Win Japanese 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials

After an almost two-year qualification period that made it the most difficult marathon in history to get into, Japan's Marathon Grand Championship 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials went off perfectly Sunday in warm and sunny conditions. Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu), 4th in Berlin last year, and 2018 Fukuoka winner Yuma Hattori (Toyota) went 1-2 in a 3-way sprint finish against national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) to score places on the Olympic team, with 2017 Hokkaido Marathon winner Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) taking the women's race and 2018 Hokkaido winner Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) holding off Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) to join Maeda on the Tokyo lineup.

It was a sign of the level of commitment that this generation brought, of what next summer's Olympics are going to be like, that both the women's and men's races went out at national record pace, but the two couldn't have been more different. In the women's race, 9 of the 10 starters went out fas…

Japan Announces Doha World Championships Team

Following the end of the qualification period for the 2019 Doha World Championships, the JAAF announced additions to the initial Japanese National Team roster released earlier in the summer. Along with the additions, the JAAF made public that Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Univ. of Florida) will not run the 200 m in order to focus on the 100 m and relay, and that Kazuya Shiojiri (Fujitsu), the only Japanese man to have cleared the Doha standard, will not race due to an apparent injury following a fall last week in Zagreb. Final changes to the team roster, if any, are expected to be announced Sept. 17.
Japanese National Team, Doha World Championshipsas of Sept. 11, 2019
times listed are best within qualifying window
WomenHurdles
100 m Hurdles  - Asuka Terada (Pasona Group) - 12.97
100 m Hurdles - Ayako Kimura (Edion) - 13.11

Long Distance
5000 m - Nozomi Tanaka (Toyota Jidoshokki TC) - 15:15.80
5000 m - Tomoka Kimura (Shiseido) - 15:19.99
5000 m / 10000 m - Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) - 15:21.40 / …