Skip to main content

Daiichi Kogyo University Takes Western Japan Ekiden Championship

by Brett Larner

Buoyed by its finishes as the top-placing western Japan university at October's Izumo Ekiden and the National University Ekiden Championships earlier this month, #3-ranked Daiichi Kogyo University upset defending champion Ritsumeikan University at the Nov. 15 Biwako University Ekiden (alternate site here), western Japan's equivalent to eastern Japan's Hakone Ekiden. 22 teams competed in the 8-stage, 84.3 km championship. Ritsumeikan, which has not finished out of the top 2 since 2001, when it was 3rd, could never close the gap on Daiichi Kogyo's runners after trailing its rival by 6 seconds on the 11.1 km 1st stage.

Nara Sangyo University Tanzanian Jackson Kwarai scored the stage best of 33:07 on the opening leg, with Daiichi Kogyo's Shoto Atsuchi 3 seconds behind and Ritsumeikan's Takuya Kawakami another 6 seconds back. Despite running only 1 of its 2 Kenyans and missing ace Ryohei Nakano, Daiichi Kogyo took stage best titles on 4 of the remaining 7 stages including Ryo Taniguchi's new stage record of 32:40 on the 11.0 km 3rd stage, keeping them comfortably ahead of Ritsumeikan which picked up only 2 stage bests. Ritsumeikan's anchor Shogo Furubayashi took one of the 2 titles, outrunning Daiichi Kogyo anchor Akifumi Mantani by 26 seconds over 7.7 km but unable to singlehandedly bridge the 1:33 gap to the leader. Daiichi Kogyo won in a time of 4:12:47, with Ritsumeikan 2nd in 4:13:43. Last year's runner-up Kyoto Sangyo University was a distant 3rd in 4:18:25.

2008 Biwako University Ekiden
Stage Best Performances
1st stage (11.1 km): Jackson Kwarai (Nara Sangyo Univ.) - 33:07
2nd stage (7.3 km): Ryo Yamamoto (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 21:23
3rd stage (11.0 km): Ryo Taniguchi (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 32:40 - new stage record
4th stage (9.6 km): Junichi Nishimura (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 29:00
5th stage (8.8 km): Eiji Teramoto (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 27:13
6th stage (12.8 km): Seidai Shinohara (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 39:06
7th stage (15.1 km): Kibet Kipgenon (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 44:53
8th stage (7.7 km): Shogo Furubayashi (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 24:06

Top Team Performances
1. Daiichi Kogyo Univ. - 4:12:47
2. Ritsumeikan Univ. - 4:13:54
3. Kyoto Sangyo Univ. - 4:18:25
4. Osaka Taiku Univ. - 4:21:24
5. Kansai Univ. - 4:21:32
6. Nara Sangyo Univ. - 4:21:37
7. Aichi Kogyo Univ. - 4:22:02
8. Kansai Gakuin Univ. - 4:22:26
9. Osaka Keizai Univ. - 4:23:20
10. Osaka Kyoiku Univ. - 4:23:43

Complete results are available here.

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). With a 1:01:20 at last year's Prague Half debuting Kenyan Eliud Mwangi should also factor into the front end. Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials start…

Japan's 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon to be Held September 15, 2019

On June 15 the JAAF announced the date and course for the Marathon Grand Championship Race, or MGC Race for short, its new almost-one-shot trials race that will determine at least two of the three members of its men's and women's marathon teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The MGC Race will be held 11 months prior to the Olympics on September 15, 2019. The winners of the MGC Race will be named to the 2020 team, with either the 2nd or 3rd placer also named to the team depending on whether either has broken a fast standard, 2:05:30 for men and 2:21:00 for women. The remaining top three placer will have to wait until March, 2020 to find out whether they will be included on the team or passed over in favor of someone who clears another fast standard in one of the big six domestic elite marathons in the winter of 2019-20.

The MGC Race course will closely follow the already announced Olympic course, the only key exception being a start and finish in the Jingu Gaien district nearby …