Skip to main content

Toyo University Spends $50,000 on New Downhill Track to Help Kiryu Achieve 9-Second Speed

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20140319-OHT1T00218.htm

translated by Brett Larner

With Japan's big hope for its first 9-second 100 m, Yoshihide Kiryu (18, Rakunan H.S.), set to enroll in April, Toyo University announced on Mar. 19 that it is building an inclined track, proven effective in building speed, at its campus in Kawagoe, Saitama.  With a 1% decline over its 60 m length, the track facilitates athletes experiencing running at sub-10 speed, moving Kiryu one step closer to realizing his dream.  Toyo's 2014 Hakone Ekiden champion long-distance team will also use the new track.

Dropping 60 cm over the course of 60 m, with just a 1% grade the track will serve as the jet-powered Kiryu's "runway."  "This track allows you to learn how to move your legs and contact the ground at 9-second speed," said Toyo sprint coach Michiaki Kajiwara, 60, explaining the new facility's potential impact on training.  "The 1% slope is the key.  If the slope is too severe it will alter the athlete's running form on flat ground."

The inclined track is being built just outside Toyo's 400 m track.  On a 30 m straightaway the track rises 60 cm, a 2% grade.  After a gradual curve the 60 m downhill section takes up the next straightaway.  The track's width is around 2 m.  With a packed dirt surface it is also suitable for use with spikes.  The track was modeled after the inclined track at the Ajinomoto National Training Center in Tokyo's Kita ward.  Construction has already begun, with completion expected within the month at a total cost of roughly $50,000.  Toyo University administration officials commented with pride, "We want everything to be perfect when we welcome Kiryu."

The main focus of Kiryu's training will be improving his speed on the downhill, but in training on the uphill he can expect to see the same sort of benefits racehorses gain from training on an incline.  "Training on the uphill section will improve his power," said coach Kajiwara.  Toyo's long distance team, which returned to the victor's stand after a two-year absence at the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden to claim its fourth Hakone title, will also use the track for speed training along with running mileage on a roughly 500 m outer loop equipped with some nice undulation.

On Mar. 11 Kiryu returned from Poland, where he made the 60 m semi-final at the Mar. 7-9 World Indoor Championships.  After enrolling at Toyo in April he plans to move from his family's home in Shiga prefecture to the Toyo track and field team dormitory in Kawagoe, Saitama.  He plans to take part in the Toyo entrance ceremony on April 6 as one of the incoming first-year class representatives.  At the ceremony he is expected to state his goal of improving on his all-time Japanese #2 best of 10.01 s to bring Japan an unprecedented 9-second national record.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kiplagat, Ichiyama, Tadese and Shitara Lead Marugame Half Elite Field

The Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon is always one of Japan's deepest races of the year on the men's side, its 2012 running setting a world record for the most men under 64 minutes in a single half marathon in history. On the women's side the field is always smaller but still home to the 1:07:26 Japanese national record set by Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) back in 2006.

Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), Sara Hall (U.S.A.) and Betsy Saina (Kenya) lead the women's international field, two-time defending champ Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) giving Marugame a miss this year. Fresh off a 1:09:14 PB at last month's Sanyo Ladies Half, Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) leads a trio of Japanese women with recent sub-1:10 times, something that has become a puzzling rarity lately. Fukushi is also back, her recent best of 1:12:04 a long way from her best days.

Speaking of which, world record holder Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) will be looking to break 60 minutes for the first time since 2015. His toughest…

Cheboitibin, Kiprono and Sonoda Top Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Elite Entries

With just over two weeks to go the organizers of the Feb. 4 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon have released their elite field for this year's race. With its history as an elite men-only race Beppu-Oita's women's field is still tiny given its status as an IAAF silver label race, but this year promises a good race between two local 2:32 women, 2016 winner Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) and Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu), that should see the 2:39:57 course record fall. Defending champ Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) also returns with a 2:38:43 PB from last fall that puts her range of the course record as well.

The men's race is heavier-duty, with a spot in the MGC Race Tokyo Olympic Trials available to the top Japanese man under 2:11:00 and to up to five others if they clear 2:10. Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) and Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) are the only Japanese men in the field to have run those kinds of times in the last couple of years, and with support from 2:09~2:10 men

Kawauchi Outruns 103 Teams to Win Yashio Isshu Ekiden

2017 London World Championships marathon 9th-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) gave local club and high school runners something to remember when he ran Sunday's Yashio Shinai Isshu Ekiden solo against 103 six-runner teams. Kawauchi spent most of the 20.0 km race in 2nd, briefly taking the lead at the end of the 3.9 km Second Stage before falling behind after a Third Stage course record run by Kotaro Minowa (Matsudo T&F Assoc.).

Down 13 seconds, Kawauchi came back to split a time 14 seconds faster for the 2.7 km Fifth Stage than its fastest ekiden runner, Yusei Otsuki (Kasukabe H.S. A). Now ahead of Matsudo and out front alone, Kawauchi saved his biggest running for last, dropping a 2:40 final km to split 14 seconds under the 12:34 course record for the 4.0 km anchor stage. Desperate to catch him, Matsudo anchor Shunsuke Matsui went 6 seconds under the old record to become its official new holder but couldn't match Kawauchi's closing speed.

Kawauchi's…