Yoshihide Kiryu on Saturday smashed a national 100-metre record in a time of 9.98 seconds to become the first Japanese to break the 10-second barrier.
The 21-year-old, who won a 4x100m relay silver at the Rio Olympics and a bronze at the World Championships last month, ran 9.98 at an intercollegiate meet in Fukui to become the first Japanese to dip under the barrier.
Kiryu finally realized a long-held Japanese dream by shaving 0.02 off the national record set by Koji Ito in 1998. The tail wind was 1.8 meters on Saturday in Fukui Prefecture, where Kiryu competed in his last meet as a Toyo University student.
“I’m thrilled to have done it in my last 100 race of the season,” Kiryu said after beating out Shuhei Tada (10.07) in the 100 final. “I’d been stuck for four years and I managed to rewrite my own record at last.”
In 2013, Kiryu ran 10.01 seconds at the Oda Memorial meet in Hiroshima, but the IAAF later rejected the time as an official record due to the use of unapproved wind-speed measurement equipment on the track.