Skip to main content

Kiryu Delivers Japan's First-Ever Sub-10 for 100 m With 9.98 Win at National University Championships



The day Japan has been waiting for has finally arrived.

Riding a wave of success in Japanese men's sprinting that in the last year has seen 4x100 m medals at the Rio Olympics and London World Championships and six men clear 10.10, Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo University) outran his London teammate Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin University) to become the first Japanese man ever to legally clear the 10-second barrier as he won the National University Championships 100 m final in 9.98 (+1.8 m/s) Saturday in Fukui.

After struggling with a sluggish start at the Taipei World University Games late last month Tada was back to his usual form, quick out of the blocks to open an early lead over Kiryu and the rest of the field. But over the second half Kiryu continued to build, passing Tada and dipping across the line to stop the clock at 9.99. The crowd erupted, but with the memory of Koji Ito's 10.00 national record, initially a 9.99 that was adjusted to 10.00 in the official results, the noise dimmed slightly as people waited for the official result to come up.

Then, with a 9.98 (+1.8 m/s) appearing nest to Kiryu's name, all the pent-up expectation of an entire nation exploded. A wave of sound, people jumping up and down and screaming, race officials falling over backward, Kiryu's coaching staff crying, and above it all, the sheer sound. Everybody knew this day was coming, that it was just a matter of one of the six, Kiryu, Tada, Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, Aska Cambridge, Ryota Yamagata or Shota Iizuka, getting it right. There was too much momentum, too much belief, for it not to happen.

And with the possible exception of Yamagata, there's nobody most of the public would have liked to see get there first more than Kiryu. In the last race of a university career that began with Toyo University spending $50,000 on an inclined track for him as an incoming frosh, today was his day. And there are surely more to come.

86th National University Track and Field Championships Men's 100 m Final (+1.8 m/s)
Fukui Sports Park Field, Fukui, 9/9/19
click here for complete results

1. Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 9.98 - NR
2. Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 10.07 (MR)
3. Ippei Takeda (Chuo Univ.) - 10.31
4. Kenta Oshima (Nihon Univ.) - 10.32
5. Yusuke Tanaka (Nihon Wellness Univ.) - 10.36
6. Takuya Kawakami (Chuo Univ.) - 10.36
7. Yoshihiro Someya (Chuo Univ.) - 10.41
8. Takayuki Nishimura (Toyama Univ.) - 10.51

© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
video by Ekiden News

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Daniel and Kawauchi Win Saitama International Marathon

After missing a medal by 3 seconds at August's London World Championships, defending champ Flomena Cheyech Daniel (Kenya) made it two in a row as she won a tight battle against Shitaye Habtegebrel (Bahrain) to win the Saitama International Marathon in 2:28:39.

With the onus on Japanese women Reia Iwada (Dome) and Kaori Yoshida (Team RxL) to break 2:29:00 in order to qualify for Japan's new-format 2020 Olympic trials race, the pair of them did most of the heavy lifting for the first two-thirds of the race. Yoshida led the early kilometers before Iwade took over, and through strong head and tailwinds, over rolling hills and around sharp turns Iwade kept things moving just under target pace, shaking the pack down to just her, Daniel, Habtegebrel and relative unknown Bekelech Daba (Ethiopia) by 15 km.

Little changed up front until after the lead group hit the start of the hilliest 10 km on the course after 25 km. For the first time Iwade slipped to the rear of the pack, and on a …

Breaking Down the Best-Ever Japanese Marathon Times By Country

Japanese marathoners these days have the reputation of rarely racing abroad, and of rarely racing well when they do. Back in the day that wasn't true; Japanese marathoners have won all the World Marathon Majors-to-be except New York, and two of the three Japanese men to have run 2:06 and all three women to have run 2:19 did it outside Japan. Whatever the extent to which things did turn inward along the way, the last few years have seen an uptick in Japanese runners going farther afield and running better there than any others before them.

The lists above and below show the fastest times run by Japanese athletes in different countries to 2:20:00 for men and 2:45:00 for women. Japanese men have run sub-2:20 marathons in 37 countries around the world including Japan, with Japanese women having cleared 2:45 in 33 countries including at home. Breaking it down by IAAF label times, more Japanese men have run label standard times abroad, but women have typically performed at a higher label…

Kosimbei, Kwemoi and Shitara Lead Hachioji 10000 m Field

Nestled deep in the misty foothills of the western Tokyo mountains, Hosei University's late November Hachioji Long Distance meet has quietly turned into one of the world's premier track 10000 m, its A-heat never quite dipping under 27 minutes yet but still producing record-setting depth and the two fastest Japanese men's 10000 m in history.
This year's entry list is another monster, with 27:02.59 man Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) leading 17 men with recent times under 28 minutes, twelve of them Kenyan, three Japanese and two Ethiopian. Fresh off a 27:22.73 win at last weekend's Nittai University Time Trials, two-time steeplechase junior world champion Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) is slated to pace what is scheduled to be a sub-28 race, but with Kosimbei, sub-27:30 men John Maina (Fujitsu) and Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and five others under 27:45 including last year's winnerRonald Kwemoi (Komori Corp.) on the list the front end should go faster. 
Rig…