Tokuo Kitani

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameTokuo•Kitani
Used nameTokuo•Kitani
Original name木谷•徳雄
Born15 February 1909 in Dandong, Liaoning (CHN)
Died4 January 1947 in Chita Oblast, Zabaykalsky Kray (RUS)
AffiliationsSouth Manchuria Railway, Manchuria (CHN)
NOC Japan


Tokuo Kitani was one of the speed skaters from Manchuria who dominated speed skating in Japan in the early years. In 1930, he was the very first all-round champion at the All Japan Speed Skating Championships. At the same competition, he also won the 500 m and the 10,000 m. In 1931, Kitani was the highest ranked Japanese representative at the World Championships in Helsinki. In this year, he set 11 national records over the distances between 1,500 m and 10,000 m, as well as in the combination. At the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, Kitani failed to qualify for the final in all four events probably, handicapped by the unfamiliar mass start. He was called to service in Manchuria in 1944 and detained by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. Kitani died of pneumonia in a camp near Chita, close to the border to Mongolia.

Personal Bests: 500 – 47.0 (1935); 1500 – 2:33.9 (1931); 5000 – 9:12.0 (1931); 10000 – 19:25.2 (1931).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) JPN Tokuo Kitani
500 metres, Men (Olympic) 4 h2 r1/2
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 5 h3 r1/2
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 8 h2 r1/2
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) AC h2 r1/2