‘Monkey Man’ sets world record for 100-meter dash on all fours … but once was almost shot by a hunter
Apr 20, 2012, 3:02 PM EDT
Old and busted: Usain Bolt running the 100 meters on two legs. New hotness: Running the 100 meters on all fours. Yes, there is a world record for the “four-legged” 100 meters, and Kenichi Ito of Japan owns it. Running on his hands and legs, the self-proclaimed Monkey Man clocked an 18.58 recently, earning the handsome plaque seen pictured.
But that’s not the best thing about him. My favorite Kenichi Ito facts are these:
- Has walked around his neighborhood (near Tokyo) on his hands and feet for the past eight-and-a-half years.
- For a hobby, studies animals on the Internet and at the zoo.
- Has persuaded close to 100 people in seven countries to also walk like a monkey.
- Was chased out of his previous town by authorities who were opposed to his monkey-walking ways.
And my favorite …
- Says he was almost shot when a hunter mistook him for a wild boar.
“In the streets around here I get stopped by the police, so I went up into the mountains for about a month for a kind of four-legged running training camp,” Ito explained to Reuters. “But on the first day, a hunter mistook me for a wild boar, and he tried to shoot me.”
But how did this all start?
“You know my face and body kind of looks like a monkey, so from a young age everyone used to tease me, saying ‘monkey, monkey’,” Ito said, squatting on all fours in his Tokyo apartment. “But I wasn’t really bothered because I really liked them, and somewhere inside of me I had this ambition to adopt one of their traits.”
Personally I’d like to see four-legged running in the Olympics. Or at the very least, an exhibition match race between Ito and Andy Serkis, the actor who played Smeagol in Lord of the Rings.
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