The Japanese men’s team set a new Asian record in the 4×100-meter relay at the athletics world championships on Saturday and finished third to secure a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The team of Shuhei Tada, Kirara Shiraishi, Yoshihide Kiryu and Abdul Hakim Sani Brown crossed the line in 37.43 seconds to claim its second straight world championship bronze medal, rewriting Japan’s previous Asian record of 37.60 set at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games upon capturing a second Olympic silver medal.
Great Britain set a European record of 37.36 for silver, while the United States took gold with a world-leading time of 37.10.
Japan benefited from having two runners who have broken the 10-second barrier in the 100, including national 4×100 team debutant Sani Brown, who holds the Japan record of 9.97 seconds at his regular distance.
“I wanted a better color, but it’s an Asian record, so I think it will lead us into next year,” Sani Brown said. “It was a different kind of fun compared to the 100.”
The 2020 Olympic hosts are not scheduled to appear on Sunday, the last day of the tournament, and leave with three gold medals, including one each from Yusuke Suzuki and Toshikazu Yamanishi in race walking.