Skip to main content

Toyo University Spends $50,000 on New Downhill Track to Help Kiryu Achieve 9-Second Speed

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20140319-OHT1T00218.htm

translated by Brett Larner

With Japan's big hope for its first 9-second 100 m, Yoshihide Kiryu (18, Rakunan H.S.), set to enroll in April, Toyo University announced on Mar. 19 that it is building an inclined track, proven effective in building speed, at its campus in Kawagoe, Saitama.  With a 1% decline over its 60 m length, the track facilitates athletes experiencing running at sub-10 speed, moving Kiryu one step closer to realizing his dream.  Toyo's 2014 Hakone Ekiden champion long-distance team will also use the new track.

Dropping 60 cm over the course of 60 m, with just a 1% grade the track will serve as the jet-powered Kiryu's "runway."  "This track allows you to learn how to move your legs and contact the ground at 9-second speed," said Toyo sprint coach Michiaki Kajiwara, 60, explaining the new facility's potential impact on training.  "The 1% slope is the key.  If the slope is too severe it will alter the athlete's running form on flat ground."

The inclined track is being built just outside Toyo's 400 m track.  On a 30 m straightaway the track rises 60 cm, a 2% grade.  After a gradual curve the 60 m downhill section takes up the next straightaway.  The track's width is around 2 m.  With a packed dirt surface it is also suitable for use with spikes.  The track was modeled after the inclined track at the Ajinomoto National Training Center in Tokyo's Kita ward.  Construction has already begun, with completion expected within the month at a total cost of roughly $50,000.  Toyo University administration officials commented with pride, "We want everything to be perfect when we welcome Kiryu."

The main focus of Kiryu's training will be improving his speed on the downhill, but in training on the uphill he can expect to see the same sort of benefits racehorses gain from training on an incline.  "Training on the uphill section will improve his power," said coach Kajiwara.  Toyo's long distance team, which returned to the victor's stand after a two-year absence at the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden to claim its fourth Hakone title, will also use the track for speed training along with running mileage on a roughly 500 m outer loop equipped with some nice undulation.

On Mar. 11 Kiryu returned from Poland, where he made the 60 m semi-final at the Mar. 7-9 World Indoor Championships.  After enrolling at Toyo in April he plans to move from his family's home in Shiga prefecture to the Toyo track and field team dormitory in Kawagoe, Saitama.  He plans to take part in the Toyo entrance ceremony on April 6 as one of the incoming first-year class representatives.  At the ceremony he is expected to state his goal of improving on his all-time Japanese #2 best of 10.01 s to bring Japan an unprecedented 9-second national record.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview

The 101st edition of Japan's National Track and Field Championships takes place Friday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. It's a strange time in some ways. Despite the overall upward trend spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the count of athletes who might make the London World Championships off their performances at Nationals is low. The marathon, walks, combined events and relays aside, based on current qualifying times only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m could field full three-member squads, and not many events look set to join that list. The progress over the last few years in men's distance on the track seems to have stalled, with nobody qualified for London in the 5000 m and the only man qualified in the 10000 m already a scratch. Is it a just a hiccup or a sign of problems in the buildup to 2020?

Visit the JAAF's National Track and Field Championships website for entry and start lists, live results, photos an…

New Balance Nationals and Record-Breaking Times Nationwide at Japanese High School Regionals

The New Balance Nationals Outdoor was the weekend's big high school meet in the U.S.A., but from Thursday through Monday regions across Japan also held their qualifying meets for the July 29 - Aug. 2 National High School Track and Field Championships in Yamagata. Performances were at a high level across the board, with at least eight meet records nationwide in distance events.

Five girls broke 4:20 in the 1500 m, with Helen Ekarare (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) leading the way with a 4:09.67 meet record to win the Tohoku Region. Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) was the fastest Japanese girl, winning the Kinki Region title in 4:18.32. On the boys' side, four broke 3:50 in the 1500 m, three of them in the Kinki Region meet. Yusuke Takahashi (Hyogo H.S.) took the Kinki title in 3:46.86.



In the girls' 3000 m, five girls including both Ekarare and Tanaka were under 9:05 nationwide. Ekarare and Tanaka both doubled with 3000 m wins, but the fastest time came from Tabitha Kamau (Kamimu…