Five of the fastest 11 Japanese men of all time will line up in the 100m at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Tokyo on 23 August.
Yoshihide Kiryu, the first Japanese athlete to break the 10-second barrier and the reigning Asian champion, has a 9.98 career best as does Yuki Koike, who clocked his at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in London Last year.
They’ll be joined by Ryota Yamagata, who has clocked 10.00, and Shuhei Tada, who led off Japan’s bronze-winning quartets at the last two editions of the World Championships. Kiryu and Koike (heats) were also on the 4x100m relay squad in Doha.
Aska Cambridge, a 4x100m relay Olympic silver medallist in Rio four years ago, will also be in the field.
Given the travel restrictions that Japan currently faces, the meeting will be largely a national competition, while a few Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes who compete for Japanese professional clubs may also take part.
Organisers will also provide some of Japan’s finest high school athletes an opportunity to compete against their nation’s best athletes on the Olympic Stadium track.
After the Interscholastic Sport Games, the national high school championships, were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers decided to add what they have dubbed as ‘Dream Lanes’ to nine men’s events (100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, long jump, javelin throw) and nine women’s events (100m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m steeplechase, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, long jump, javelin throw) where one or two high school athletes will be included on the start list with the chance to compete head-to-head with Japan’s elites.
High school athletes wishing to compete will apply through the JAAF, the country’s national federation.
Bob Ramsak for World Athletics