Japan advanced to the final of the men’s 4 x 100-meter relay on Thursday morning at National Stadium in Tokyo. The host nation will look to defend or better the silver it won at the 2016 Rio Games in Friday’s final at the Tokyo Olympics.
The quartet of Shuhei Tada, Ryota Yamagata, Yoshihide Kiryu and Yuki Koike finished third in the first heat with a time of 38.16 seconds, a season best for Japan. Since making the final of the marquee relay event at the 2000 Sydney Games, Japan has advanced to the medal race at every Olympics.
The top three finishers in each heat and the two other fastest teams make the final. Two-time defending Olympic champion Jamaica (37.82) and 2019 World Championships silver medalist Great Britain (38.02) finished ahead of Japan in the first heat.
The other five qualifiers came from the second heat, which China (37.916) won, followed by Canada (37.918), Italy (37.95), Germany (38.06) and Ghana (38.08). The United States, one of the favorites for the gold, failed to qualify after finishing sixth despite a season best 38.10. Italy and Ghana set national records for the event.
メンバーのうち３人が１００メートル１０秒を切っている(have run under 10 seconds)。
For Japan, making the final was the first hurdle to bringing some glory back to the men’s team at this Olympics, as individual short distance runners were all eliminated in the heats of their respective events.
In the heat, Japan decided not to use the slumping Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, going with lead runner Tada, followed by Yamagata and Kiryu, and anchored by Koike. This is the first time Japan has used this combination in an international competition. Japan’s third place finish seems to show its vaunted underhand baton passing is in good form.
予選３位通過は、バトンパスが良好な状態を示している(show its vaunted underhand baton passing)とこの記事では書いています。
The key person on the team is the third runner, Kiryu. When Japan won the silver medal in Rio and bronze at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships, Kiryu lived up to expectations with his world-class ability in this leg of the relay.
なので、桐生選手はリレーに焦点を当てて(focusing on the relay)、精神的な観点から(from a mental standpoint)チームをサポートした。
「私の仕事は、最高のパフォーマンスを示すこと(show my best performance)です。」
Looking at other teams’ individual members, Japan may not look like it has the best squad, but there has never been an Olympics in which Japan has had an absolute advantage. At Tokyo 2020, the relay team will run for the dream of winning the gold medal for the pride of Japan.