On May 27th at the Fukui Prefectural Track and Field Stadium where last fall Yoshihide Kiryu became the first Japanese sprinter to break the 10 second barrier for 100 m, a ceremony was held to unveil the stadium's renaming as 9.98 Stadium. The prefecture hopes to convey the stadium's place in history to the rest of the country through the recognition of Kiryu's achievement.
Governor Kazumi Nishikawa, Prefectural Assembly Chairperson Fumio Yamamoto, Fukui Athletics Association Director Seiichiro Yagi and other officials took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to reveal the stadium's giant new Sunrise Red name board 11.5 m tall and 6.7 m wide. The three numerals making up the number 9.98 each measure 1.75 m tall, the same height as Kiryu.
A commemorative ceremony was held on the track. Kiryu could not be present himself but addressed participants in a video message played over the stadium's giant screen, saying, "I am deeply honored. It is my hope that many other athletes will produce great marks at this stadium."
A smartphone app was also released that let users take commemorative photos with Kiryu. The app is available via a QR code next to the main sign board and can be used within a 500 m radius of the stadium.
translated and edited by Brett Larner