Report30 Jan 2022

Matsuda runs 2:20:52 to break Osaka Women's Marathon record


Mizuki Matsuda breaks the race record to win the 2022 Osaka Women’s Marathon (© Agence SHOT / Ryosuke Kikuchi)

Mizuki Matsuda broke the race record at the Osaka Women’s Marathon on Sunday (30), improving her PB to 2:20:52 to win the World Athletics Elite Label event.

Her time beats the 2:21:11 event record which had been set by Mao Ichiyama last year and moves her to fifth on the Japanese all-time list. It is also the second-fastest time by a Japanese athlete in Japan, behind Ichiyama’s 2:20:29 set in Nagoya in 2020.

Matsuda was followed over the finish line by Mao Uesugi, Natsumi Matsushita and Mizuki Tanimoto, as the top four all dipped under 2:24.

Before the race, Matsuda had explained how her goal was to win the race with a performance that would help her to secure a spot on the team for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon later this year. After winning in Osaka in 2020 with 2:21:47, Matsuda had later missed out on a place at the Tokyo Olympics when Ichiyama ran faster in Nagoya.

“I could not attain my goal today,” she said after the race, with beating Ichiyama’s 2:20:29 a likely aim. “I am happy that my hard training paid off well.

“I think the result was good because I ran aggressively from the start. I just hope that I will be selected for the World Championships team. During the race, I was imagining myself running in Eugene, thinking: ‘How would the world-class runner run at this stage of the race?’”

Despite the pandemic, the event in Osaka was able to go ahead as planned, under good conditions with little of the expected wind.

Matsuda and Uesugi had run together behind the three male pacemakers until just after 25km, passing 10km in 33:02 and half way in 1:09:57 – a half marathon PB for Uesugi.

At 25km the clock read 1:22:47, but Uesugi started to drift back a short while later and by 30km – passed in 1:39:15 – Matsuda had built a 31-second lead.

She went through 35km in 1:56:04 and 40km in 2:13:23, with the pacemakers leaving the race as they entered Nagai Stadium park at around 41km.

Matsuda went on to cross the finish line in 2:20:52 to achieve her third Osaka Women’s Marathon win after her victories in 2018 and 2020, maintaining her unbeaten record in the event.

Although Uesugi’s pace began to slow as she was dropped, she held on to run a big PB of 2:22:29, while Matsushita was third in 2:23:05 and Tanimoto fourth in 2:23:11. Yukari Abe was fifth in 2:24:02 as the top five all set PBs, with Sayaka Sato sixth in 2:24:47. The top six all qualified for the Marathon Grand Championship, the 2024 Olympic trial race.

With thanks to Ken Nakamura

Leading results (all athletes JPN)

Conditions: temperature 8.2C, 47% humidity at the start with very little wind

1 Mizuki Matsuda 2:20:52
2 Mao Uesugi 2:22:29
3 Natsumi Matsushita 2:23:05
4 Mizuki Tanimoto 2:23:11
5 Yukari Abe 2:24:02
6 Sayaka Sato 2:24:47 

Intermediate times:
5km - 16:28
10km - 33:02 (16:34)
15km - 49:42 (16:40)
20km - 1:06:20 (16:38)
Half - 1:09:57 
25km - 1:22:47  (16:27)
30km - 1:39:15 (16:28) 
35km - 1:56:04  (16:49)
40km - 2:13:23 (17:19)
Finish - 2:20:52

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