Step over Usain Bolt, the future could be running on all fours. At least that's if the 14 competitors at Japan's first 'four-legged running' contest are to be believed. (Courtesy: RTV/CBS)
Step over Usain Bolt, the future could be running on all fours.
At least that's if the 14 competitors at Japan's first 'four-legged running' contest are to be believed.
Scampering in at first place at the Komazawa Olympic Park in Tokyo was Kenichi Ito, who pioneered the sport ten years ago after studying the running style of the wiry Patas monkey of Africa.
He was already the world's fastest man on all fours over 100 yards (over 100 meters), but on Thursday (November 14) crossed the line to beat his own world record.
"Kenichi Ito has broken his own record in setting with a new mark of 16.87 seconds," announced Carlos Martinez, an adjudicator from Guinness World Records.
Ito's previous best was 17.23 seconds, and Ito told reporters he hoped his monkey style would become so speedy he could take on his two-legged rivals at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
"Last year I got below 18 seconds, this year below 17 and next year it will be under 16. If I carry on at this rate, and knock off a second every year, then by the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 I'll be able to run below the 10-second mark. So watch this space - it will be me getting the gold for sprinting!" Ito said.
Martinez said he would try to get tickets.
"I think that would be something to see. I don't know, but it would be very interesting to see him running against the fastest man of all times against the fastest runner on all fours of all time. That would be a very interesting competition. I hope it happens," Martinez told Reuters.
But the jubilation was more muted for Ito's fellow simian sprinters.
"This strange sort of pain suddenly hit my upper body, I felt like I was going to keel over. I don't think I'll be doing it again," said 20-year-old Taiki Shimizu, a debutant in competitive four-legged running.