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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Rodgers wins Tokyo IWC Meet; Kiryu 3rd.

Rodgers wins Tokyo IWC Meet; Kiryu 3rd.

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1 Rodgers wins Tokyo IWC Meet; Kiryu 3rd. on Sun May 05, 2013 10:09 pm




IAAF Tokyo IWC Report
05 May 2013

With all eyes on Japan's newly minted teenage sprint hero Yoshihide Kiryu, US sprinter Michael Rodgers calmly ran away with the men's 100m to break Japanese hearts a little at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix, an IAAF World Challenge meeting, in Tokyo on Sunday (5).

Rodgers clocked 10.19 seconds into an unhelpful 1.2 metres-per-second breeze to win on a day when a steady swirling wind at Tokyo's National Stadium all but ensured that the athletes would be placing priority on place over performance.

"I felt the wind when I came out. I was like, 'Oh my god,'" said Rodgers. "But it was a good run. After a 13-hour flight, I wasn't expecting anything big today. Just get the win."

The Bahamas' 2007 IAAF World Championships silver medallist Derrick Atkins finished second in 10.24 while Kiryu, running in the lane next to Rodgers, had a satisfying third place in 10.40 although the conditions kept him short of his well-publicised goal of becoming Japan's first ever sprinter to go under 10 seconds.

"I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be," said the 17-year-old Kiryu, the Japanese high school student who last week stunned the athletics world by tying the World junior record of 10.01 at a Japan Grand Prix meet in Hiroshima.

"I was really looking forward to my first race against foreign runners. The way the foreign athletes accelerate in the second half (of the race) is so different. I'm really happy with third, and that I beat one of the nine-second runners,” he added.

Rodgers embraced Kiryu after the race and the two stood arm-in-arm, waving to the crowd of 18,000 in the venue that hosted the 1964 Olympics and 1991 IAAF World Championships.

"He's going to be great," commented Rodgers. "He's a good kid, got a long, bright future. He's still in high school, so he has a lot of room to grow. He's brave. A lot of kids get scared when they get into a big competition, but he did great today."

The problems caused by the win could also be seen in the women’s 100m, won by Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova in a modest 11.46 as she fought against a 2.4 mps headwind.

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