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Koike becomes 3rd Japanese sprinter to crack 10-second barrier

The Associated Press

Yuki Koike of Japan gestures after participating in the men’s 100 meters race final at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting at London Stadium in London, Saturday.

The Yomiuri Shimbun Yuki Koike became the third Japanese sprinter to break 10 seconds in the 100 meters when he clocked 9.98 in the men’s final of round 10 of the Diamond League in London on Saturday.

The time is the second-fastest by a Japanese sprinter, tied with Yoshihide Kiryu, behind University of Florida sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown’s record of 9.97. In May, Koike ranked seventh in Japan at 10.04.

Koike finished fourth in the London race, while Kiryu finished in 10.13 to place seventh. Akani Simbine of South Africa won the meet with a time of 9.93.

Koike’s smooth acceleration propelled him into the lead by the middle of the race, as he had planned. The race saw an impressive five runners finish under 10 seconds.

“I ran what I envisioned to be the perfect race,” said Koike, 24. “Records happen when they happen,” he added on becoming the third Japanese sprinter to break the 10-second barrier.

Koike is upbeat about his chances in future races. “I’ll train some more after I’m back in Japan, and with a few adjustments to my technique, I can do even better at the World Championships [in Doha in September]. I’m excited for the future,” he said after the race.

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