Kiryu Splashes to 1st National Title in 100

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), June 10, 2014 | Go to article overview

Kiryu Splashes to 1st National Title in 100


FUKUSHIMA--Teen sprint star Yoshihide Kiryu slashed through the rain to his first national title in the men's 100 meters, winning in 10.22 seconds on Sunday, the final day of the Japan Championships in Athletics in Fukushima.

Kiryu, a freshman at Toyo University, passed defending champion Ryota Yamagata at the midpoint, although a sudden downpour just before the start prevented any attempt at a historic sub-10-second time. Yamagata finished second in 10.27.

"My objective was to win the title, so I'm relieved," said the 18-year-old Kiryu, who burst onto the athletics scene when he clocked 10.01 last year, putting him No. 2 on the all-time Japan list. "I want to keep defending this crown."

Kiryu, who has had problems with his start, was late out of the blocks again and trailed Yamagata in the lane to his left. But he kept his composure and accelerated past his Keio University rival.

"It went just as I imagined," Kiryu said. "Even if I'm not in the lead in the first half, I feel I've become stronger since last year in being able to catch up in the second half. …

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