Breaking Away

When sprinter Shingo Suetsugu races around the track wearing his high-tech spikes and aerodynamic suit, he has another less visible secret weapon: he practices ancient techniques used by samurai and ninja to move more swiftly through the streets of Edo-era Japan. Suetsugu, 24, credits a centuries-old practice called nanba for the bronze medal he won in the 200-m race at last year's track-and-field World Championships, which made him the first East Asian since 1900 to land a medal in an international sprint competition. In Athens, the goateed native of Japan's southern Kyushu Island is entered to compete in the 100-m and...

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