Japanese sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu, who this year ran the 100 meters in 9.98 seconds to become the first Japanese person to break the 10-second barrier, was awarded the grand prix in this year's Mainichi sporting figure awards in Tokyo on Dec. 7.
The awards' rookie prizes went to 14-year-old table tennis player Tomokazu Harimoto, a member of the Japanese Olympic Committee Elite Academy, and 22-year-old deaf swimmer Satoi Fujihara, who belongs to Nihon University. On hand to receive the culture award for Japanese basketball's B.League were Chairman Masaaki Okawa and player Makoto Hiejima.
The attendees were awarded certificates and bronze statuettes of the late Japanese athlete Kinue Hitomi, Japan's first female Olympic medalist, by Masahiro Maruyama, president of The Mainichi Newspapers Co.
Kiryu, who receives a 1 million yen prize for winning the grand prix, said he has his sights on appearing in the final of the 100 meters at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Kiryu currently attends Toyo University.
Wheelchair table tennis player Yui Kamiji, who is managed by Avex Group Holdings Inc., won the best athlete prize, but was absent from the award ceremony to attend a tournament.
The awards, held at Tokyo Dome Hotel in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward, are supported by Fujitsu Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corp.