Four-time world champion Justin Gatlin will take on Japan’s best sprinters in the 100 meters at the Ready Steady Tokyo meeting, which is part of the 2021 World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series, in the Japanese capital on Sunday (9).
Gatlin, the 2017 World Championships gold medalist, will be making his first appearance outside of the United State since 2019 and he will be hoping to use Sunday’s meeting to experience what the atmosphere could be like at this summer’s Olympic Games. So in a sense, this event is being used as the official test meet for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Gatlin will race in heat one of the men’s 100m where he is listed to take on one of two Japanese sub-10-second sprinters in Yuki Koike. – Timetable, start lists and results
The American who owns a personal best of 9.74 seconds from 2015, enters the Ready Steady Tokyo meeting with a season-best 9.98 secs, done twice last month in Florida at the Miramar Invitational on April 10 and repeated in Gainesville at the 2021 Tom Jones Invitational on April 17.
Meanwhile, Koike’s best in his career is 9.98s, done in London in 2019, with his season’s best sitting at 10.26s. The 25-year-old has posted 10.04s in Izumo this year, but that time was assisted by a +4.0 m/s tailwind.
Another top Japanese sprinter, Yoshihide Kiryu will race in heat two of the event.
Kiryu, a two-time world championships 4x100m relay bronze medalist and Olympic silver medalist in the same event, holds a 100m personal best of 9.98 secs done in 2017, but has only clocked 10.30s so far this season. The 25-year-old will be seeking to improve on that season-best at Japan’s National Stadium.
World U20 champion Lalu Muhammad Zohri will also lineup in the field.
Events To Follow At Ready Steady Tokyo Meeting – Timetable, start lists and results
The meeting will provide competition from 20 disciplines, including the women’s 1500m, 5000m, 100m hurdles, 3000m steeplechase long jump and javelin, as well as the men’s 100m, 200m, 400m, 5000m, 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 3000m steeplechase, high jump, pole vault, long jump and javelin.