Ryota Yamagata ran 100 meters in 9.95 seconds on Sunday at a race in Tottori, shaving 0.02 off the national record set by Abdul Hakim Sani Brown in June 2019.
Yamagata, 28, was a member of Japan’s 2016 Olympic silver medal-winning 4×100-meter relay team along with Shota Iizuka, Yoshihide Kiryu and Asuka Cambridge. He became the fourth Japanese sprinter to run the 100 in under 10 seconds.
Kiryu became Japan’s first sub-10 sprinter in 2017, followed by Sani Brown and Yuki Koike.
“I’ve wanted to break 10 seconds all this time, so I’m happy to have done so,” Yamagata said after he won at the Fuse Sprint. “I felt this was a meet I didn’t want to miss. I see the Olympics as being the real competition.”
Yamagata has twice reached the Olympic semifinals in the 100. His personal best before Sunday was 10.00.
With the Olympics starting on July 23, Yamagata’s time on Sunday increases expectations that a Japanese sprinter will advance to the Olympic men’s 100 final for the first time in 89 years and win gold in the 4×100 relay.
The world record in the 100 is 9.58, set by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt. The Asian record is 9.91, set by Qatar’s Femi Ogunode and equaled by China’s Su Bingtian.
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