Skip to main content

Takechi, Kyuma Twins Lead Bukkyo University and Tsukuba University to Regional Ekiden Wins

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20120930-OHT1T00285.htm
http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/sports/0005414888.shtml

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The university women's ekiden season kicked off Sept. 29 with the Kansai Region (Kobe/Kyoto/Osaka area) qualifier for the Oct. 28 National University Women's Ekiden Championships in Sendai.  22 schools ran in the six-stage, 30 km Kansai qualifier in Kobe's Shiawase no Mura, with defending champion Bukkyo University taking its second-straight and fourth-overall win in 1:37:54.  Last year's national champion Ritsumeikan University finished 4th in Kansai.  Along with Bukkyo and Ritsumeikan, five other schools from the Kansai Region made the cut for Nationals.

Having run on the Shiawase no Mura course since her days at Tomogaoka H.S., Bukkyo's Shiho Takechi had the fastest time on the anchor stage for the second year in a row.  Takechi ran 47 seconds faster than the next-fastest woman on the anchor stage, making a major contribution to Bukkyo's overwhelming victory.  Now a senior, Takechi is the team's captain this season.  In the spring she had trouble getting in good shape, but at last month's National University Track and Field Championships she ran 15:56.78 for 3rd, her first time in a year to go sub-16.  "I didn't have any problems with my training this summer," she said with a smile.  Showing her leadership, she added, "I think that was a good example for the other runners."  Targeting a third-straight win last year, Bukkyo finished 2nd.  Now in her final year, Takechi swore to find vindication.  "We don't have any big stars this year, so we all have to work together to improve our overall level.  That's how we're going to win."

A day later, first-year twins Haruka and Moe Kyuma led Tsukuba University to its first Kanto Region (Tokyo/Yokohama area) qualifier win in ten years, covering the six stage, 30.6 km course in Chiba New Town in 1:38:26.  Tsukuba's fourth-ever Kanto title, the win secured the school a place at Nationals for the first time in nine years.  Both Kyuma twins won their stages, Moe taking the Fourth Stage and Haruka claiming the anchor stage. Daito Bunka University was 2nd as both schools broke the course record, with four other schools earning places at the National Championships.  Altogether 26 schools nationwide qualified for Nationals, with two further schools set to be named to the field on Oct. 3 in honor of the National University Women's Ekiden Championships' 30th anniversary.

The superbly talented twins have brought new life to the former powerhouse Tsukuba University. Their experience as members of Kyoto's two-time National Women's Ekiden Championships team proved crucial to Tsukuba's fortunes.  On the 5.8 km Fourth Stage Moe took the lead.  Tsukuba dropped behind on the Fifth Stage, but on the 7.8 km Sixth Stage Haruka passed Daito Bunka University's anchor in the first km, ultimately opening a one-minute gap before the Tsukuba jersey broke the tape after a ten-year dry spell.  Her time of 24:43 was a new stage record.  The National University Track and Field Championships 10000 m winner last month, Haruka said, "I have to be critical of myself for slowing down near the end, but I'm very happy that we won," showing no small share of pride.

Tsukuba has won the National University Women's Ekiden Championships twice, finishing 7th in its last appearance in 2003.  Needless to say, with Nationals having moved to Sendai in 2005 this year will be the school's first time on the new course.  This year the team's uniform has also changed, its runners now sporting fuchsia blue singlets.  Leading the way for a new era at a famous school, the twins are excited for their Nationals debut.  "I love the sense of accomplishment you get in an ekiden," said Haruka.  "I think we are going to do well at Nationals."  Moe added, "I want to win my stage to help make sure that the team is right up front."  If they can crack the domination of the Kansai Region they will be shaking up the existing order at Nationals, where Kanto always takes a back seat to the sisters' native Kansai.

2012 Kansai Regional University Women's Ekiden
Shiawase no Mori, Kobe, 9/29/12
six stages, 30 km
top seven teams qualify for National University Women's Ekiden Championships
click here for complete results

Top Team Results
1. Bukkyo University A - 1:37:54
2. Osaka Gakuin University A - 1:40:19
3. Kyoto Sangyo University - 1:40:34
4. Ritsumeikan University - 1:40:48
5. Osaka Geidai University - 1:42:59
6. Kansai University - 1:44:13
7. Nara Sangyo University - 1:46:25
-----
8. Hyogo University - 1:47:54
9. Kobe Gakuin University - 1:48:03
10. Koka Joshi University - 1:48:16

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (3.9 km) - Mutsumi Ikeda (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 12:30
Second Stage (3.3 km) - Miyuki Mandai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 10:12
Third Stage (6.5 km) - Chinami Mori (Bukkyo Univ. A) - 21:11
Fourth Stage (6.5 km) - Chika Ogawa (Bukkyo Univ. A) - 21:50
Fifth Stage (3.3 km) - Chisaki Takegami (Bukkyo Univ. A) - 10:34
Sixth Stage (6.5 km) - Shiho Takechi (Bukkyo Univ. A) - 21:18

2012 Kanto Region University Women's Ekiden
Chiba New Town, Chiba, 9/30/12
six stages, 30.6 km
top six teams qualify for National University Women's Ekiden Championships
click here for complete results

Top Team Performances
1. Tsukuba University - 1:38:26 - CR
2. Daito Bunka University - 1:39:26 (CR)
3. Tamagawa University A - 1:40:47
4. Hakuoh University - 1:41:02
5. Chuo University - 1:41:22
6. Josai University - 1:41:45
-----
7. Juntendo University - 1:41:58
8. Nittai University - 1:43:16
9. Tokyo Nogyo University A - 1:44:34
10. Toyo University - 1:45:37

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (4.6 km) - Nami Hashimoto (Josai Univ.) - 14:55
Second Stage (4.5 km) - Yasuka Ueno (Tsukuba Univ.) - 14:03
Third Stage (3.3 km) - Yuko Iwata (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 10:23 - CR
Fourth Stage (5.8 km) - Moe Kyuma (Tsukuba Univ.) - 18:29
Fifth Stage (4.6 km) - Sakurako Fukuuchi (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 14:46 - CR
Sixth Stage (7.8 km) - Haruka Kyuma (Tsukuba Univ.) - 24:43 - CR

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Japan's London World Championships Marathon Squad Arrives Back Home

The six members of Japan's men's and women's marathon teams at the ongoing London World Championships returned to Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Aug. 9. Decked out in the official team suit, Japanese team captain and at 9th the top-placing Japanese marathoner in London Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) spoke to the media.

Having declared pre-race his intention to withdraw from consideration for future Japanese National Team positions, post-race Kawauchi showed no change in that intent. With regard to his future plans, his motivation as a competitor likewise remaining unchanged, Kawauchi indicated that he will run Decmeber's Fukuoka International Marathon,where his 3rd-place overall finish last year earned him his place in London. "In Fukuoka I want to break my PB and run 2:07," he said. "There are things I want to accomplish besides being on the National Team."

Kawauchi revealed that his next marathon will be September's Oslo Marathon, whe…

Silver and Bronze - Summary of Japanese Performances at 2017 London World Championships

Thanks to a last-minute rush Japan walked away from the London World Championships with a passable haul. The JAAF judges performance in terms of medals and top 8 finishes. Up to Saturday, only one Japanese athlete had met either, 18-year-old sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown finishing 7th in the men's 200 m final as the first Japanese man to make a 200 m final at Worlds since 2003. Three other Japanese athletes had scored top 10 placings, Yuki Kawauchi and Kentaro Nakamoto in the men's marathon and Ayuko Suzuki in the women's 10000 m, but under the JAAF's criteria these were not viewed as success.


Saturday's men's 4x100 m final brought the first Japanese medal of the Championships, with Japan following up on its Rio Olympics silver with a bronze, its first-ever Worlds medal in the discipline. Sunday morning brought Japan's best-ever showing in the men's 50 km race walk, Rio bronze medalist Hirooki Arai moving up to silver, Kai Kobayashi taking bronze wit…

London World Championships - Day Nine Japanese Results

Following up on its silver medal at the Rio Olympics, the Japanese men's 4x100 m relay squad delivered the first Japanese medal of the London World Championships as it took bronze behind hosts Great Britain and U.S.A. Swapping in alternate Kenji Fujimitsu for ailing anchor Aska Cambridge in the final, the team featured only two starting members of the Rio lineup. Lead runner Shuhei Tada, a student at Kwansei Gakuin University who burst onto the scene in May, again proved himself the best new development in Japanese men's sprinting with a fast start. Rio members Shota Iizuka and Yoshihide Kiryu did their bits on second and third to keep Japan even with Jamaica in 3rd before Fujimitsu delivered the goods.

With bronze at the Beijing Olympics and silver in Rio last year it was Japan's first-ever World Championships men's 4x100 m relay medal. At age Fujimitsu may not make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but with Cambridge, 200 m finalist Abdul Hakim Sani Brown and Rio team …