translated and edited by Brett Larner
With one month to go until the start of the Incheon Asian Games, ten members of the national team's sprint contingent held a practice session open to members of the media at an indoor facility in Eniwa, Hokkaido on Aug. 19. The big hope for Japan's first sub-10 in the men's 100 m, 18-year-old Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) talked about his ambitions for the Asian Games, saying, "I don't what kind of time I'll run, but I will be running to win."
In April Kiryu sensed tightness in his right thigh during the heats at the Oda Memorial Meet and sat the final out. Suffering from pain in his right heel since winning the National Championships in June and cancelling two subsequent meets, Kiryu won the bronze medal at July's World Junior Championships. Since then he has also been having pain in his left hip joint. At the press session he worked on baton passing with the relay team and did light training. "This is most injuries I've had in one year since I started running," he said. Coach Hiroyasu Tsuchie commented, "I'd be lying if I said there were no worries at all, but we want him to have the best preparations he can for the Asian Games."
At September's National University Track and Field Championships Kiryu plans to run the 200 m and the 4x100 m relay before heading to Incheon. "I've been wanting to run the 200 m, so I want to tweak things to be ready for that and then ride that flow to the Asian Games. I can't help thinking about injuries. My situation now is that I'm injured, so I have to try to see how competitive I can be in this condition. I think once I get there it'll be game on."
Japan's other hope for a sub-10, London Olympian Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) looked fresh and light after recovering from hip problems of his own. "My sense of the times I'm running and the actual times are matching up well and consistent with when I'm feeling good. I want to come back with my best running and a good placing."