by Brett Larner
Watch this video and say that you are not impressed:
Chuo Univ., lane 5, wins the men's 4x100m over Waseda Univ., lane 4.
Japanese sprinting keeps moving forward. On the second to last day of the 2010 Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships, May 22 in Tokyo's National Stadium, Chuo University's men's 4x100 m pulled off the biggest upset of the meet so far with a 38.54 national university record win over titan Waseda University thanks to a stunning performance by freshman anchor Shota Iizuka. The unheralded Chuo team's time was not only a record and not only beat Waseda, which features 2009 national champion and World Championships team member Masashi Eriguchi, by exactly one second but would have won last year's American NCAA Div. I National Championships, placed the team 5th in the Beijing Olympics final and 6th in the final of last summer's World Championships.
With Eriguchi on 2nd Waseda had a strong first half, but a great run from Chuo's 3rd runner, junior Hiroyuki Kubota, brought frosh anchor Iizuka into position for the record. The surprisingly tall Iizuka started the anchor leg just a step ahead of Waseda but blazed away to open Chuo's one second margin almost singlehandly. Official splits are unavailable, but in the video above Iizuka appears to clock 9.25 from handoff to crossing the finish line. For a frosh it was a sensational performance and one which makes the first sub-10 by a Japanese runner a strong possibility this season. For complete results click here.
Iizuka finished 2nd to Eriguchi in the 100 m, 10.58 to 10.38, but returned on May 23 to win the 200 m with an impressive final 50 m in which he pulled away with ease to finish in 20.76 to Eriguchi's 21.06.
(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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