Alumnus wins gold at 18th World Athletics Championships

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Toshikazu Yamanishi won the gold medal in the men's 20-kilometer race walk at the 18th World Athletics Championships on 15 July 2022 in Oregon, USA.

Mr Yamanishi, who graduated from the Faculty of Engineering in 2018 and has since been affiliated with Aichi Steel Corporation, was a member of the KyotoU track and field club and winner of multiple international 20-kilometer race walk titles, including the gold medal at the 17th World Athletics Championships in 2019 in Doha, Qatar, and the bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Comments from President Nagahiro Minato

As president of Kyoto University, I wish to extend my heartfelt congratulations to our alumnus Mr Toshikazu Yamanishi on repeating his success at Doha 2019 to win the gold medal in the men's 20-kilometer race walk at the 18th World Athletics Championships, which were held from 15–24 July 2022.

Mr Yamanishi was a bronze medalist at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo last year, and I had the honor of presenting him with a special award on behalf of the University to congratulate him and wish him continued success. It is clear that he did not let himself become complacent following his Olympic achievement. I imagine that he calmly reviewed his performance, identified areas for improvement, and continued with his training.

Mr Yamanishi faced persistent competition in the Oregon race, but charged ahead and broke clear in the final stretch, securing himself a second straight World Athletics Championship medal, an unprecedented feat for a Japanese athlete. His valiant and determined performance reminded me of our principle of academic freedom, which urges us to follow our own paths and blaze our own trails.

His athletic achievements can certainly serve as a source of encouragement and inspiration not just for our students, but for everyone, especially in these times of growing anxiety over the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It is my sincere hope that Mr Yamanishi, with his sound and sharp mind, will go on to achieve even greater success in the coming years.