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Team Yasukawa Denki Scores First Kyushu Jitsugyodan Ekiden Win in Three Years

http://www.asahi.com/sports/update/1123/SEB200911230004.html

translated by Brett Larner

With just a narrow 4-second margin over defending champion Team Asahi Kasei, Team Yasukawa Denki scored its first Kyushu Jitsugyodan Ekiden win in three years at the 46th running of the seven stage, 78.8 km race from Fukuoka to Kita-Kyushu on Nov. 23.

Starting out in 8th place, Yasukawa shot up through the field thanks to Shinji Tateishi's stage best run on the Second Leg, taking the lead on the Sixth Leg. Anchor Ryohei Nakano battled with Team Asahi Kasei's Tomoyuki Sato before dropping him for the win.

In 3rd was Team Toyota Kyushu, which was unable to field a full squad for last year's ekiden. Led by Yu Mitsuya and Masato Imai's stage bests on the 4th and 7th legs, Toyota Kyushu was only 21 seconds off the leaders.

The Kyushu Jitsugyodan Ekiden served as the qualification race for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden national corporate championships. Along with the top three, 4th place Team Kyudenko and 5th place Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki also qualified for the New Year Ekiden.

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The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Upcoming race schedule: Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan
Mar. 25: Kuki Half Marathon, Saitama
Apr. 16: Boston Marathon, U.S.A.
May 5: Toyohirakawa Half Marathon, Hokkaido
June 2: ASICS Stockholm Marathon, Sweden
June 17: Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon, Shimane
July 1: Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Australia
Aug. 2…