29 January 1970 |
Kobe city, Hyogo prefecture, Japan
|Height||180 cm (5 ft 11 in)|
|Sport||Track and field|
|Club||Tokai University, Fujitsu|
|Achievements and titles|
100 m: 10.00
|1998 Bangkok||100 m|
|1998 Bangkok||200 m|
|1994 Hiroshima||200 m|
|Asian Athletics Championships|
|1998 Fukuoka||200 m|
|East Asian Games|
|1997 Busan||200 m|
|1993 Shanghai||200 m|
Koji Ito (伊東 浩司 Itō Kōji, born 29 January 1970 in Kobe) is a retired Japanese track and field sprinter and the current Japanese record holder of 100m sprint with a time of 10.00 seconds. He is a former Asian record holder in the 100 metres and 200 metres, and still holds the indoor record as well as the 4×400 metres relay record.
He started out as a 400 metres runner and after winning a bronze at the 1991 Asian Athletics Championships, he was selected for the relay at the 1991 World Championships in Athletics and represented his country on home turf. In 1993 he won a bronze medal at the 1993 East Asian Games and the 1993 Asian Athletics Championships. He managed to reach the quarter-finals of the 200 m of the World Championships that year. His 1994 was highlighted by a silver medal at his first Asian Games in Hiroshima.
He represented Japan at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and managed to reach the semifinals of the 200 m and helped the 4×400 m relay to secure fifth place in the final in an Asian record time. He won his first major championship title in 1997, winning the 200 m gold at the East Asian Games, but he did not get past the heat stages at either the IAAF World Indoor Championships or the World Championships in Athletics.
The following year marked his career peak: he started with a win in the 200 m at the 1998 Asian Athletics Championships and went on to win a sprint double at the 1998 Asian Games in Games record times. In winning the Asian Games 100 m crown on 13 December 1998 (Bangkok) he ran a time of 10.00 seconds, during a semi-final heat. This time is still a Japanese national record. He was the Most Valuable Player of the 13th Asian Games.
Ito also clocked a personal best of 20.16 s in the 200 m on 2 October 1998 at Kumamoto, Japan. He put in a strong performance at the 1999 World Indoor Championships, just missing out on the 60 metres final and running an Asian indoor record time for fifth place in the 200 m competition. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Ito finished seventh in the semi-finals in both the 100 m and 200 m events (10.39 s and 20.67 s respectively) ; the Japanese men's 4x100 m team (Nobuharu Asahara, Koji Ito, Shigeyuki Kojima, Shingo Suetsugu) finished sixth in 38.66 s. Suetsugu later went on to follow in Ito's footsteps as Japan's top male sprinter. Ito never again matched the form of his high-water-mark 1998 season and retired in 2002.