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‘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

KenichiIto Reuters

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.

  1. jumbossportsblog - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:11 AM

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