Another week passes since the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio concluded and another significant international swimmer has announced his impending retirement. Joining the ranks of Japanese countryman Kosuke Kitajima, Takeshi Matsuda has revealed he will be hanging up his goggles after competing at his final meet next week, the 2016 National Sports Festival.
At 32 years of age, Matsuda has represented Japan at 4 consecutive Olympics, beginning with 2004 Athens and ending with 2016 Rio. His best individual performances came at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics where he snatched bronze in the men’s 200m butterfly at both Games. His 1:52.97 outing from London remains as the Japanese National Record in the event.
Matsuda also added a medal to his kitty in Rio as a member of his nation’s bronze medal-winning 800m freestyle relay. That marks his 2nd Olympic relay medal, as he was also a member of Japan’s 400m medley relay in London, which won silver.
Of his decision to defer retirement until after the National Sports Festival, Matsuda told the press, “Brazil is far. I wanted everyone in Japan to see me swim again.”
“I’ve been thinking for the past half a year about the situation I’d sign off under,” Matsuda said.
His career will complete a full circle of sorts, as Matsuda is scheduled to swim the 400m freestyle next week, the same event in which he finished 8th at his Olympic debut in Athens.