Skip to main content

Top Runners Ogata and Fukushi Coming Together for First Mixed-Team Chiba International Ekiden

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/top/sp200711/sp2007111405.html

translated by Mika Tokairin and Brett Larner

On Nov. 13, the JAAF announced the runners for the Nov. 23 Chiba International Ekiden, an event which will see the top runners in the world handing off the tasuki. This year the ekiden will feature mixed teams of male and female runners for the first time. Men will be running odd-numbered legs. The Japanese team will include Osaka World Championships marathon 5th place finisher Tsuyoshi Ogata (34, Team Chugoku Denryoku; pictured top right) and university star runners Kensuke Takezawa (21, Waseda University) and Yuichiro Ueno (22, Chuo University). Women will run even-numbered legs, with stars like Osaka World Championships 10000 m representative Kayoko Fukushi (25, Team Wacoal) appearing as team members.

The Chiba International Ekiden is a historic event which is changing format this year. Elite runners whom Japan will proudly present are gathering in Chiba for the race. With this elite unit Japan is aiming to become the `first king` of the new format.

Ogata is leading the men`s half of the team as their ace runner. Three months after the very harsh World Championships marathon, he will be demonstrating his capabilities as the favourite for the 2008 Beijing Olympic marathon team.

The team will also feature talented young runners Takezawa and Ueno who will battle each other as rivals at the Hakone Ekiden in early January. Waseda`s Takezawa (pictured middle right) was the only Japanese university distance runner in the Osaka World Championships where he ran the 10000 m. Ueno, one of the `four college kings,` set a new stage record on the first stage of October`s Izumo Ekiden and passed 7 runners on the 4th stage of November`s All-Japan University Ekiden. These two young men intend to become world-class runners. To Hakone and on to the Olympics, their dreams begin in Chiba.

The female members of the team are all highly idiosyncratic runners. Top Japanese female distance runner Fukushi (pictured right) is running Chiba for the 5th time after a 4-year absence from the event. Megumi Kinukawa (18, Sendai Ikuei High School) ran in the Osaka World Championships as a high school student. Fukushi and Kinukawa are popular for both their talent and their unique personalities. The 3rd female member, Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), is a member of the "running mother" demographic. Megumi Seike (Team Sysmex), who is a teammate of Mizuki Noguchi and expected to be her successor, is also on the Japanese team. Playing tag with the men, they will dominate Chiba.

2-year male and female champions Kenya will field a strong team including Osaka World Championships marathon winner Catherine Ndereba (35).

The Chiba International Ekiden is one of the biggest international ekiden events. From this year the format has been changed to a mixed male and female format for the first time in the event`s history. Since the first running in 1988, which was Toshihiko Seko`s retirement race, the event has received international attention as a race which brings in world-class runners. This year is the 19th edition. Japan has won the men`s division 4 times and the women`s division 10 times. Kenya has won both the men`s and women`s divisions for the last two years.

Start time: November 23, 1:07 p.m.
Course info: 42.195 km course with 6 stages, 3 male and 3 female starting and finishing at the Chiba Prefectural Sogo Stadium
Entrants: 15 teams from 13 countries
Broadcast info: To be broadcast on Fuji Television Nov. 23 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:25 p.m.

Men:
Tsuyoshi Ogata (34, Team Chugoku Denryoku)
Kenji Noguchi (32, Team Shikoku Denryoku)
Kensuke Takezawa (21, Waseda University)
Yuichiro Ueno (22, Chuo University)

Women:
Kayoko Fukushi (25, Team Wacoal)
Megumi Kinukawa (18, Sendai Ikuei High School)
Yukiko Akaba (28, Team Hokuren)
Megumi Seike (20, Team Sysmex)

Other Chiba International Ekiden Previews:

IAAF (The IAAF mistakenly states that four of Japan`s runners ran on the World Championships marathon team. Only one member of the Chiba Int`l Ekiden team, Tsuyoshi Ogata, ran the marathon in Osaka. The other three members listed, Kayoko Fukushi, Megumi Kinukawa and Kensuke Takezawa, ran the 10000 m at the World Championships. Fukushi doubled in the 5000 m.)

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Koech and Maeda Run Year's Best 10000 m Times in Fukagawa

Conditions were on the humid side for the second meet in the four-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series Wednesday in Fukagawa, Hokkaido, but that didn't stop the fast times.

In the race of the day, Benard Kibet Koech (Kyudenko) went out front in the men's 10000 m from the gun, opening a lead of more than 5 seconds over a small chase pack led by Bedan Karoki (Toyota) at just over 27:20 pace. Karoki reeled Koech in over the second half, but when he was caught Koech didn't lie down, fighting back and retaking the lead repeatedly. With 200 m to go it looked like Karoki would get away, but in the home straight Koech came back again to win in 27:14.84, a PB and the fastest time in the world so far this year. Karoki was next in a quality 27:15.97, with Cleophas Kandie (MHPS) 3rd in 27:51.19. Tatsuhiko Ito (Honda), one of the stars of the Second Stage at this year's Hakone Ekiden, running a 60-second final lap to clear 28, taking 4th in 27:58.43 in his corporate league debut…

Today's Race - Live Streaming of 2020 Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa Meet

Live streaming of today's Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa meet starting at 15:30 local time. Timetable here. Although the start time for the live streaming is listed as 15:30 the first race begins at 15:00, so the live stream may begin earlier. Start lists here. The main races start at 18:25, with highlights including:

*1:05:34 half marathoner Rosemary Monica Wanjiru (Starts) and Sayaka Sato (Sekisui Kagaku) in the women's 5000 m A-heat at 18:25.
Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu), Hideyuki Tanaka (Fujitsu), Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) and Masaki Toda (Sunbelx) in the men's 5000 m A-heat at 18:45.
*Olympic marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) and 2:06 man Daisuke Uekado (Otsuka Seiyaku) in the men's 10000 m B-heat at 19:15.
*Top-level marathoners Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal), Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) and Yuka Ando (Wacoal) in the women's 10000 m at 19:50.
*3000 m world leader Dan Kiplangat (JFE Steel) in the men's 10000 m A-heat at 20:30 with pacing from B…

Baire and Kiplangat Drop World-Leading Times, Endo Just Off - Weekend Track Review

As the numbers in Tokyo's second wave go up and up the likelihood that we're going to get many more weekends like this one goes down, but for this little window of opportunity, at least, there was action on the track at at least five elite-level meets across the country.

At the 75th Kagoshima Prefecture Championships, 17-year-old Cynthia Baire (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) ran U20 world-leading times in both the women's 1500 m and 5000 m, running 4:10.67 to win the 1500 m Saturday and then 15:14.30 Sunday to win the 5000 m. Both times were also meet records. On Friday 36-year-old amateur Takahiro Nakamura, who ran a 1:00:57 half marathon in February, won the men's 10000 m for the fifth year in a row, running a meet record 29:23.09. Sunday he was back to try to score the 5000 m title too but was outrun by Kanta Tokumaru (Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S.) 14:18.21 to 14:28.36. Tokumaru was doubling off a win in the 1500 m Saturday in 3:57.17.
Across Kyushu at the Saga Prefecture Champi…