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Mizuki Matsuda Announces Plans to Retire Soon to Have Children

The JAAF held an award ceremony for the Japan Marathon Championship Series II in Tokyo on Mar. 29. Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) and Kenya Sonota (JR Higashi Nihon) were named the women's and men's series champions, earning 6,600,000 yen [~$50,000 USD] each, equal to the prize money for winning the World Marathon Majors series.

Matsuda told the media, "I was 2nd last year, so to be the winner this year honestly makes me really happy." Matsuda will run the marathon at August's Budapest World Championships, then will double at the Oct. 15 MGC Race Paris Olympic marathon trials. She admitted that it's a tough schedule, but said, "Being able to compete at the top level of the sport is a great experience. I want to perform in the race that's closer on the horizon more than what's still further away, and that's why I wanted to do compete at the World Championships."

Matsuda's coach Miwako Yamanaka wanted her to only run the Olympic trials, but, said Matsuda, "I'm going to retire soon, so I want to show everyone who supports me that I always challenge myself and never leave any regrets, right up to the very end." Asked why she's planning to retire, Matsuda, 27, answered, "I want to have three kids, so in terms of age I feel like it's probably just about time to stop." JAAF marathon boss Toshihiko Seko called out, "Keep going til you're 40!" but Matsuda just laughed and said, "Motion rejected!"

At the MGC, Matsuda said, "It would be awesome if I could win it and make the Olympic team."

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translated and edited by Brett Larner

photo © 2022 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Stefan said…
Congrats to her for winning the championship series and receiving a much deserved pay day. I'm glad she explained her reasons for competing in both races. I wish her the very best. She has been an excellent consistent competitor in recent years and so perhaps if anyone can pull this off she can. Her "Motion rejected!" remark made me laugh. When she does retire, her engaging personality will be missed.

Now I'm immediately thinking perhaps her peer, Mao Ichiyama has similar thoughts regarding retirement? It's much more difficult for women! Both are in very similar situations being recently married, although Ichiyama is only 25. Perhaps after the Paris Olympics if she qualifies? That would make 2 consecutive Olympic Games for her.

Of course, both could still make a comeback after having children and follow in the footsteps of Australia's Sinead Diver! 2 children, 46 years old and still running 2:21.34 last year! Or locally, looking at Sairi Maeda, who is a mother, 31 years old and ran 2:25.24 in Osaka this year and is MGC Race bound too!

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