Bolt Shatters 100-Meter World Record
( New York Times )

All those curious to know just how fast Usain Bolt might have gone if he had not stopped sprinting near the end of his world-record run at the Olympics last year now have a clearer answer.

Bolt pushed himself from start to finish Sunday night, and the result was a stunning time of 9.58 seconds in the men’s 100-meter final at the world track and field championships: eleven-hundredths of a second better than his game-changing mark of 9.69 in Beijing.

Tyson Gay, the understated American who was considered Bolt’s
biggest threat here, ran the race of his life, setting a national record of 9.71. But Gay was beaten convincingly in the Olympic Stadium as Bolt took the biggest bite out of the men’s 100 record since electronic timing became mandatory for record ratification in 1977.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・stun (殴って)気絶させる、あ然とさせる
・convincingly 納得のいくように(convince:確信させる)
・mandatory 義務的な、命令の、統治を委任された
・ratification 批准、承認

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Japanese Baseball: Root, Root, Root and Buy Me Some Eel
( New York Times )

HANAMI, or cherry-blossom viewing, is jokingly referred to as the most popular spectator sport in Japan. In truth, the title belongs to baseball.

But “spectator” is a misnomer, because attending a baseball game in Japan involves active, enthusiastic participation.

On a Sunday afternoon in April, I was crammed into a seat in the upper deck of the Tokyo Dome to watch the biggest rivalry in Japanese baseball ― Japan’s version of a New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox match-up. The Yomiuri Giants were set to battle the visiting Hanshin Tigers, whose devoted fans made up nearly half of the crowd of about 44,000 in the jam-packed stadium.

As soon as the game began, so did the coordinated cheering. Led by cheer captains in the outfield bleachers, the batting team’s fans chanted, sang and rhythmically banged plastic bats for every pitch to every batter. Their deafening, synchronized roar dominated the dome. Each hit ignited a burst of still louder cheers and frantic towel waving.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・spectator 見物人
・misnomer 誤った名、名称の誤用
・enthusiastic 熱狂的な(enthusiasm:熱狂、熱中)
・deafen 耳を聞こえなくする(deaf:耳が聞こえない)
・frantic ひどく興奮した、気違いじみた

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Japan Wins World Baseball Classic
( New York Times )

To Japan and South Korea, the final of the World Baseball Classic was more than the final game of a 16-team tournament. It was the chance, the prized chance, to subdue a despised rival and be called the best team in the world. It was an opportunity for one proud country to incense another.

With a pulsating 5-3 win over South Korea in 10 innings Monday night, the Japanese won their second straight Classic and remained atop the international baseball world. Until the next tournament, in 2013, the Japanese can boast about being superior to the South Koreans and any country where players pick up bats and baseballs.

Ichiro Suzuki lined a two-out, two-strike single to center field off Chang Yong Lim to drive in two runs in the 10th and ignite a celebration from Dodger Stadium to Tokyo. But Suzuki did not immediately celebrate. After he scooted to second on the throw home, he showed no emotion. He calmly lifted his hand to call a timeout.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・prize  賞、尊ぶ、評価する
・pulsate 鼓動する、どきどきする
・boast 誇る、自慢する
・superior (地位・立場)上位の
・ignite 点火する、(火をつけて)燃やす
・scoot 急いで行く、突進

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In Japan, Fear That Submarine Starters Will Fall by the Wayside
( New York Times )

Shunsuke Watanabe is the dirtiest player on Japan’s World Baseball Classic team. After throwing just one pitch, his right leg is streaked in soil from his kneecap to the tips of his toes. He does not bother dusting himself off because on the very next pitch, it happens again.

The 32-year-old Watanabe is the latest and, some fear, perhaps the last of a nearly half-century-old Japanese tradition of submarine starters. Sure, American baseball has its own colorful history of submarine pitchers, but they have mostly been relievers like Chad Bradford of the Tampa Bay Rays, and the former players Kent Tekulve (184 saves) and Dan Quisenberry (244 saves). Watanabe has been exclusively a starter and an ace for Japan’s Pacific League Chiba Lotte Marines since 2004, going 54-35 since then.

“My father couldn’t have imagined the impact of his advice,”
Watanabe said. “He simply was suggesting I take up the submarine style as a way to make the team in high school if I wanted to keep playing. If I hadn’t changed, I probably would have made the team and ridden the bench and that would have been it for my baseball career.”

【 まずは準備運動 】

・streak 筋、縞(をつける)
・dust off ちり・ほこりを払う
・exclusively 排他的に、独占的に
・take up 取り上げる、(時間・場所・立場・コースなどを)取る

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Japanese Are Irked by U.S. Interest in Pitcher
( New York Times )

As far as Junichi Tazawa is concerned, the most rebellious acts in his 22 years have been ignoring his homework and sneaking home after sunrise. But as the first high-profile Japanese baseball prospect to turn down his nation’s leagues to entertain offers from Major League Baseball teams, he has found himself straining relations between baseball entities on two continents, with accusations of talent raiding and defiance of decades-long understandings.

Many Japanese baseball officials are outraged that United States teams are courting Tazawa, a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher, because they insist it is long-established practice for amateurs like him to be strictly off limits to major league clubs. Even some American general managers, including the Yankees’ Brian Cashman, agree.

【 まずは準備運動 】

・rebellious 謀反の、反抗的な
・sneak こそこそ入る、出る
・accusation 非難、告訴
・defiance 挑戦、反抗的態度、無視
・outrage 暴行する、激怒させる
・practice 実施、実行、習慣、慣例

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