Skip to main content

National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships - Preview - Watch Live Online

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/joshi-ekiden/2009/news/f-sp-tp0-20091209-574251.html

translated by Brett Larner

The 2009 National Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden Championships take place this Sunday, Dec. 13 in Gifu. The top 27 teams from across the country will face off over the 6-stage, 42.195 km course.

Last year Team Toyota Jidoshoki took its first-ever national title with a surprise win. This year the team returns a step ahead of the pack as the clear favorite. Its pair of 21 year old aces Hitomi Niiya and Akane Wakita led Toyota Jidoshoki to victory with stage best titles at the East Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden and will again be a major factor in its 2009 Nationals run.

East Japan runner-up Team Hokuren also looks strong, with World Championships marathoner Yukiko Akaba and national jitsugyodan 5000 and 10000 m double champion Philes Ongori leading the way.

Last year's national runner-up Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo's chances largely depend on whether the team's star Yoko Shibui has recovered from the stress fracture that kept her out of the World Championships marathon. Without her the team finished 4th in East Japan, breaking its 10-year winning streak. Can Mitsui and Shibui make a comeback?

Other strong contenders include East Japan 3rd placer Team Universal Entertainment, formerly Team Aruze, and from west Japan Team Daihatsu. World Championships marathon silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) and 10000 m 7th place finisher Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) are also on the entry list with their teams.

Beginning this year, foreign runners will be restricted to the National Ekiden's shortest leg, the 3.3 km Second Stage. How will this affect the outcome?

The 2009 National Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden Championships will be broadcast live on TBS from 11:50 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Japan time on Dec. 13. Overseas viewers should be able to watch live online for free using the Keyhole TV software available here.

Translator's note: Unfortunately no JRNLive commentary this week either as I am running a XC race that morning.

Comments

tengokusan said…
Team Universal Entertainment finished in 19th place! What in the world went wrong?!?!

Most-Read This Week

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Ayuko Suzuki Leaves for Altitude Training in Boulder Motivated for the Marathon

2017 London World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Ayuko Suzuki (25, Japan Post) left from Narita Airport on Sept. 18 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado.

Two days earlier at a half marathon in Czech Republic, Yuta Shitara (25, Honda), like Suzuki born in 1991, broke the 10-year-old Japanese men's half marathon national record in a time of 1:00:17. "It's a big motivation to see an athlete the same age as me doing something like that," she said. Showing her determination to be one of her generation's leaders, she added, "I'll be 28 [at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics], right in my prime mentally and physically. I want to run big too."

In the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics Suzuki has the marathon in sight along with the track. "I need to run a half marathon and marathon somewhere once to check [how well they suit me]," she said. "Coach and I will be talking about it." If everything goes according to plan, December's Sanyo …

New Half Marathon NR Holder Yuta Shitara's Twin Brother Keita Joins Hitachi Butsuryu Corporate Team

Having left the Konica Minolta men's corporate team at the end of March this year, Keita Shitara, 25, announced on Sept. 19 that he will join the Hitachi Butsuryu team. The official announcement is scheduled for Sept. 20.

As a member of Toyo University Shitara was part of two Hakone Ekiden-winning teams before joining Konica Minolta following his graduation in 2014. His first year at Konica Minolta Shitara ran New Year Ekiden national championships' toughest stage, but since his second year he has experienced a slump. Saying, "I need to change my environment in order to get my head straight and back on track," Shitara chose to leave the team at the end of March, returning to Toyo as his training base.

The Hitachi Butsuryu team came into being in April, 2012 as the successor to the Hitachi Cable Marathon Team. It is based in Matsudo, Chiba. Under the leadership of head coach Manabu Kitaguchi, 45, it has grown steadily, placing 10th at this year's New Year Ekiden.…