- 短距離走者（後出 sprint は全力で走る）
- intercollegiate meet
- （ここでは）日本学生陸上競技対校選手権（intercollegiate は大学対抗の）
- pull out of ～
- assure ～
- launch oneself ... blocks
- pull a muscle
- qualify for ～
- work on one's physique
- pave the way
Kiryu Yoshihide, 21, became the first Japanese sprinter to break the 10‐second barrier, winning a 100‐meter race in 9.98 seconds on Sept. 9 at an intercollegiate meet in Fukui Prefecture. The previous Japanese national record of 10.00 seconds was set by Ito Koji in 1998.
After seeing his preliminary finishing time of 9.99 changed to the final figure of 9.98 on the board, the Toyo University student jumped up and down with joy. "I prayed that (the official time) wouldn't be changed to 10.00 seconds. I'm so glad I managed to get across the line in less than 10 seconds, even if it was by a small margin," said Kiryu, who had been under pressure since he achieved the second best national time of 10.01 in 2013.
Before the final, Kiryu even considered pulling out of the race due to some concerns regarding his left hamstring. But after his coach assured him that he would be able to compete, Kiryu was determined to launch himself out of the starting blocks in the final, at the risk of pulling a muscle.
In the early part of the race, Kiryu found himself behind one of his rivals, Tada Shuhei, but quickly managed to overtake Tada, and sprinted on toward victory.
The physical strain on any sprinter attempting to run 100 meters in less than 10.10 seconds is enormous. Kiryu had suffered many injuries since he was a junior high school student, even failing to qualify for the national team in 2014 and 2015. He didn't give up, however, working hard on his physique and also improving his diet.
Now, multiple Japanese sprinters have a 100‐meter personal best of less than 10.10 seconds. However, the finishing time to qualify for finals at the Olympics and world championships has been around 10.00 in recent years. "I've only reached the starting line on the world stage," said Kiryu, who has paved the way for Japanese sprinters at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.