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Japanese Men's 100 m History

With Japan chomping at the bit to see its first-ever sub-10 clocking in the men's 100 m, Twitter user @touchdown_time put together the following list showing every time Japanese men have broken 10.10. The left column shows legal performances and the right column wind-aided times, with the fastest time by each athlete to have done it marked in yellow.

What's notable is that of the twelve men to have broken 10.10 with legal wind, four did it for the first time in June this year. At the time of Japan's 4x100 m silver medal last summer at the Rio Olympics only team members Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) and Ryota Yamagata (Seiko) and alternate Kei Takase (Fujitsu) had run faster than 10.10. After third Rio member Aska Cambridge (Nike) dropped a wind-aided 9.98 earlier in the season its fourth man Shota Iizuka (Mizuno), known more as a 200 m specialist, started the streak off with a 10.08 (+1.9) on June 4. Less than a week later 20-year-old newcomer Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) exploded onto the scene with a 9.94 (+4.5) and 10.08 (+1.9) to equal Iizuka. Two weeks later at the National Championships Cambridge did it for real, running 10.08 (-0.9) to bring the entire Rio team under 10.10, but he and the others were upstaged by another young talent as 18-year-old Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) ran 10.05 (+0.6), winning the national title.

Just a year out from Rio only one of its silver medal winning 4x100 m team members will be back in the 100 m, Cambridge being joined by the younger Sani Brown and Tada with Kiryu named only to the 4x100 m team. Things move fast. The sudden surge in the number of people coming close has upped the excitement levels in Japan over the possibility of a sub-10, bringing the sense that it's almost an inevitability, more just a question of who's going to get there first. Life's never that easy, but it's an exciting time, and one tinged with the hint of something golden just a few years away.


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