translated by Brett Larner
Japan's sprint ace Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) has been removed from the 4x100 m relay team after suffering a pulled muscle in the rear of his left thigh. The injury occurred during the men's 100 m heats on August 10. It was diagnosed as a muscle pull on the 11th, and after consultation with the team doctor and trainers Yamagata was removed from the relay team. According to Rikuren sprint director Koji Ito, "He can walk, but it is not a light injury."
Yamagata ran the same heat as world record holder Usain Bolt (Jamaica), his reaction time of 0.172 the ranking him fifth in the heat. "Up to halfway I couldn't open up to top speed," Yamagata reflected of his race, where at halfway he quickly looked around and found he was in competition with four or five other athletes. Dueling with a South African athlete in the lane to his right, Yamagata crossed the line 4th, just 0.01 seconds out of qualifying for the semi-final. "Not bringing the results in the one place I had to bring them shows that I don't have enough experience," he said dejectedly.
According to Ito, after the race Yamagata reported having felt pain 70 m in. Last fall he experienced an injury in the same place on the rear of his right thigh. Ito commented, "Based on the information we have, I'd have to think that that injury has returned. Yamagata has been careful but has carried it with him and experienced problems."