KYOTO, JAPAN — A 15-year-old junior high school student Sherry Drury (ドルーリー朱瑛里) captivated Japan last Sunday (15 Jan) not by her charming looks but her record-breaking sprint of three kilometres in 9 minutes and 2 seconds at the All-Japan Inter-Prefectural Women’s “Ekiden” Championships held in Kyoto.
The Japanese-Canadian junior high girl was part of the Okayama Prefecture team, one of the 47 prefecture teams from countrywide that contested in the nine stages relay race, which covers a total distance of 42.195 kilometers.
For those unfamiliar, “Ekiden (駅伝)” is a long-distance running multi-stage relay race, mostly held on roads. Sherry Drury was stationed at the third stage, which was reserved for junior high school athletes.
According to Japanese media Nikkan Sport, soon after Sherry Drury took over the sash, she sprinted the first kilometre in 2 minutes and 55 seconds.
By the time she handed off the sash, she had overtaken 17 of her competitors en route while maintaining her fast pace.
Her splits were reported to have been 2:55 – 3:04 – 3:03.
The Kakuzan junior high school student also slashed 8 seconds off the previous record time.
“I was aiming for (a new record for the single section) so I’m very happy,” Drury said.
Drury was born to a Canadian father and a Japanese mother. She began running in the fourth grade of elementary school, the Japanese media reported. Also, noting that her junior high school has only three girls in its track and field club.
Her other achievement included being the winner of the 1,500-meter race at the national junior high school championships last summer.
In a competition held last October, Drury also set a new meet record of 2:45.84 in the 1,000-meter race in the under-16 category.