DOHA – Yoshihide Kiryu won the men’s 100-meter gold at the Asian Athletics Championships on Monday, while compatriot Ryota Yamagata pulled out of the final due to a hamstring injury.
At Khalifa International Stadium, Kiryu captured the first gold medal of the competition for Japan when he crossed the line in 10.10 seconds, 0.3 ahead of Indonesia’s Lalu Muhammad Zohri and 0.8 faster than bronze medalist Wu Zhiqiang of China.
“This year I’m not the same,” said Kiryu, 23, who has held the national record of 9.98 since September 2017. “I feel like I’m showing improvement even during the race. Winning the title here is huge.”
It is the first time a male Japanese sprinter has won the 100 at the Asian Athletics Championships, a biennial event organized by the Asian Athletics Association.
Yamagata qualified with a semifinal time of 10.18, but did not make it to the start line for the final after experiencing soreness in his right hamstring.
In results for other Japanese athletes, Ayaka Kora earned the silver medal in the women’s long jump, while Akane Watanabe and Ryohei Arai each won bronze in the women’s hammer and men’s javelin, respectively.
Khalifa International Stadium will host the IAAF World Athletics Championships from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6.