Skip to main content

Asian Games Silver Medalist Matsumura a Disappointing 25th at Tokyo Marathon

http://www.sankei.com/sports/news/150222/spo1502220024-n1.html

translated by Brett Larner

Just over 30 minutes into the Tokyo Marathon, 2014 Asian Games silver medalist Kohei Matsumura (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) was already showing strain on his face.  Around 12 km he suddenly fell back from the lead group never to return, finishing 25th in 2:16:25.  "Am I shocked?  I guess so..." he said in a thin voice post-race.  "I felt it in my legs right from the start."  In past races he has been able to pick it up partway through, but this time he was unable to focus and get into a steady rhythm.  "I just couldn't get it together today," he said.

Last year Matsumura was the top Japanese finisher in Tokyo, 8th in 2:08:09.  At the Asian Games he won the silver medal in the marathon.  Aware of his status as Japan's top current marathon, pre-race he enthusiastically said, "My goal is 2:07.  I want to live up to expectations."  But those same expectations may have become an "invisible pressure."  JAAF director of marathoning Takeshi Soh, one of the architects of both the Federation's sub-2:06:30 standard for the Beijing World Championships team and the National Team program that has overseen Matsumura and others since last April, commented, "I was concerned that he was overworking.  He went too far."

At the Asian Games Matsumura missed gold and a guaranteed place at the World Championships by 1 second.  With his performance in Tokyo his position has become precarious.  "I think it'll take me a little time to get it back together after this," he said.  Once a happy reminder of success, "Tokyo" now resonates with his humiliation.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Saitama International Marathon Top Two's Times Annulled Due to Last-Minute Misdirection by Race Officials

At the Nov. 12 Saitama International Marathon, Kenyan Flomena Cheyech Daniel won a sprint finish over Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel by 3 seconds to take her second-straight Saitama title in 2:28:39. On Dec. 11 race organizers announced that both runners' times had been annulled.

In the midst of the pair's battle for the win, race officials misdirected the pair into the righthand lane on the final corner instead of the lefthand lane in which the finish line was located. Both ran over the curb dividing the two lanes and returned to the original course before finishing.

At the time JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata said, "This was a mistake by the organizers and the athletes did nothing wrong. There was no effect on the finishing order and no advantage gained in terms of the distance run." After later consultation with JAAF officials, race organizers decided that Cheyech and Habtegebrel had not covered the complete distance and that their times should be annulled. N…

Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been t…