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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Naoki Matsuda dies at 34

Indian children are becoming more obese – some say due to junk food; some attribute it to Indian habit of eating samosas and other deep fried foods.  The Nation is earning the dubious distinction of having more diabetics than any other part of the World.  A natural death at a young is unnatural and slowly we are hearing of such instances at a higher frequency.   Most of the ailments are attributed to Indian sedentary life-style and more is spoken about the need for exercise in daily life.

The first of the common things that strikes successful sportspersons is their stamina and fitness levels.  Today, to succeed in any sport, one has to be supremely fit and spend hours in keeping their body fit besides improving their skills in the game.  Physical fitness is a state of well being that comprises skill and health-related components.  Fitness is a condition where the individual has sufficient energy to avoid fatigue and endures to produce consistently good performance.   It could further be specific – the state of general fitness i.e., the state of health and well being and Specific fitness – a task-oriented ability to perform well in the chosen sphere of activity.  Lot of things go in to make physical fitness and they include correct nutrition, rest, training and exercise. 

Some are fitness freaks and spend hours at Gym and stadiums doing various forms of exercises, trying to remain supremely fit.  It is often held that fit individuals are of good health and generally live long.  Fitness is often related to health and longevity – keeping away from diseases and living for long. 

There are times when everything Scientific and statistical is defied and those times one is reminded of the Supreme Power.  A famous footballer of Japan has died at a young age of 34.  Quite unfortunate.

Death occurred to Naoki Matsuda on 4th Aug 2011 – he was only 34.  He won 40  caps for his country.  On Tuesday, he reportedly collapsed on the training pitch with a suspected heart attack during a training session with his club, Matsumoto Yamaga, was rushed to hospital  and never regained consciousness.

He was considered a strong and reliable defender and key player in the Japan's World Cup side in 2002.  Matsuda represented the Yokohama F. Marinos for the vast majority of his career, being promoted to the first team in 1995, at the age of 18. He scored his first goal for the club on September 30 of that year, at Mitsuzawa Stadium, and went on to appear in more than 500 official games for the Yokohama side, helping it to three J. League Division 1 titles. Internationally, he represented Japan at the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2002 FIFA World Cup, both played on home soil, and also competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics.  In 2011, after nearly 20 years with the same club, Matsuda signed with lowly Matsumoto Yamaga FC, in the Japan Football League.

Fans, friends and former players had gathered at the hospital in Matsumoto to wish the player well.  He was initially diagnosed with heatstroke after a 15-minute run. He was unconscious on his arrival at hospital but showed no response to heart massage.

It is indeed a bad news for Japanese football and for the sporting World.  

     Sampathkumar S

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