Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda Says Farewell To Swimming

Retta Race
by Retta Race 7

September 12th, 2016 Asia, International, News

Japanese stalwart Takeshi Matsuda announced earlier this month that he had intentions to retire after the Japanese National Sports Festival and, as expected, his retirement has now indeed become official.

After earning 3rd in the men’s 400m freestyle at the event last Friday, September 9th, Matsuda confirmed he would be hanging up his goggles. At a press conference after the Festival, Matsuda told reporters, “I’m completely at peace. I don’t have an ounce of regret. I aimed for a gold medal and wanted to be number one in the world. I fell short of that gold medal, but I look back on everything with fondness now.”

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 Beijing 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.

When asked which race made the most impact on his swimming career, Matsuda answered,  “It’s difficult to say. I was happy about my first bronze medal in Beijing. I was bitter about not being able to win a gold in London, but made up for it in the relay, a joy I was able to share with the younger guys in Rio.”

“The races I won a medal in all mean something.”

Remarkably, Matsuda was paired with his female coach Yumiko Kuze since the athlete was just 4 years of age. Said Matsuda’s longtime coach of her protege’s decision to retire, “Thinking back to our time, it feels like, ‘it’s over now and it felt like a short time. “(Matsuda) has always made me have a dream as well, and I’m thankful to have been able to meet a young man like him.”

Matsuda’s retirement is reportedly set to involve coaching and work as an ambassador for the sport of swimming.

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Tom from Chicago
4 years ago

Great swimmer. Great career. A bit of bad luck to be the same age as Phelps, but still a great career. Best of luck to him.

Lennart van Haaften
4 years ago

Great swimmer and always among the best in the 200 fly. It’s not often mentioned how close to gold he was in 2012, just 0.25 behind Le Clos.

Reply to  Lennart van Haaften
4 years ago

Wait a minute, was not Phelps .005 behind Le Clos? Is so, then how can you say how close he was to gold? Phelps does not count?????

4 years ago

He was one of the biggest threat for M . Phelps on the 200 fly years ago …a great swimmer !!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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