Skip to main content

Asahi Kasei Dominates Final New Year Ekiden Qualifier

http://mainichi.jp/sports/news/20121124k0000m050028000c.html
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2012/11/24/kiji/K20121124004624680.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

For the third year in a row Team Asahi Kasei won the seven stage, 78.8 km Kyushu Corporate Men's Ekiden, dominating the race's 49th edition on Nov. 23.  With Olympian Ryuji Ono taking the lead on the Third Stage with a stage best run, anchor Takuya Fukatsu setting a new stage record and every team member finishing in the top four on time on their stage, there was little question of the team securing its 42nd win in the event's history.

Team Yasukawa Denki presented a challenge in the early going with Hiroki Kubota running the fastest time on the Second Stage, but anchor Kentaro Nakamoto, the London Olympics marathon 6th placer, faded and could not maintain position.  Team Toyota Kyushu started slow, only getting into the game with a stage best run by ace Masato Imai on the Third Stage and another from Yuya Konishi on the Sixth Stage.  World Cross Country Championships silver medalist Paul Tanui blasted the Fifth Stage and brought Team Kyudenko to within one second of leader Asahi Kasei, briefly taking the lead before being outkicked by Asahi Kasei's Tetsuya Yoroizaka, but Kyudenko's final two runners could not improve the team's standing and fell behind.

Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki came up late in the race to take 5th, Team Kurosaki Harima right behind in 6th.  With all of its runners finishing 7th on their individual stages, Team Nishitetsu claimed the final New Year Ekiden national championships ticket.  Conditions during the race were cloudy, 14.6 degrees, 60% humidity, with 3.4 m/s NNE winds.

The same day as the Kyushu Corporate Men's Ekiden, Asahi Kasei's Ryoichi Matsuo, 21, won the 25th Otawara Marathon.  Running just his second marathon, Matsuo broke free of the competition at 24 km to win in 2:16:55 by a margin of 30 seconds.  "I was going for the course record (2:14:53), so I can't be satisfied with my time," Matsuo commented afterward.  One of coach Takeshi Soh's young hopes for the team's future, Matsuo said, "I want to build on this win in my future races and keep reaching upward."

Kikuyo Tsuzaki (22, Team Noritz) won the women's race in 2:43:50.  A first-year pro and like Matsuo running her second marathon, Tsuzaki found herself in the lead after just 3 km.  "There weren't any women around me," she said, "but the men in the race helped pull me along."  Looking toward her future goals she said, "I want to become an athlete whose name everybody knows."

49th Kyushu Corporate Men's Ekiden
Fukuoka-Kitakyushu, 11/23/12
seven stages, 78.8 km
click here for complete results

Top Team Performances - top seven qualify for New Year Ekiden
1. Team Asahi Kasei - 3:52:54
2. Team Yasukawa Denki - 3:55:20
3. Team Toyota Kyushu - 3:56:03
4. Team Kyudenko - 3:56:23
5. Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki - 3:59:15
6. Team Kurosaki Harima - 3:59:17
7. Team Nishitetsu - 4:04:54
-----
8. Team Togami Electric - 4:12:09
9. Kokubun SDF Base - 4:15:11
10. Team Kyocera Kagoshima - 4:16:23

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (13.4 km) - Kazuya Deguchi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 41:54
Second Stage (10.2 km) - Hiroki Kubota (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 31:06
Third Stage (10.5 km) - Ryuji Ono (Team Asahi Kasei) - 28:55
Fourth Stage (12.2 km) -Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 34:58
Fifth Stage (9.2 km) - Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 25:29
Sixth Stage (9.1 km) - Yuya Konishi (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 26:39
Seventh Stage (14.2 km) - Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei) - 40:58 - CR

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Takes Six Minutes Off Kitakyushu Marathon Course Record to Lead Weekend Results

After a seven-week break from the marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) scored his third-straight marathon win, second-straight course record and came just shy of a third-straight negative split as he ran a completely solo 2:11:46 to take almost six minutes off the Kitakyushu Marathon course record. Following up on negative split wins at December's Hofu Yomiuri Marathon and January's Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, the latter a course record by half an hour, Kawauchi was on his own in the first 100 m in Kitakyushu and never looked back.

In the hilly first 10 km his pace fluctuated from high-2:12 to high-2:10, but once Kawauchi got into the flatter section of the course he settled out on track for a high-2:11 to low-2:12 time. After a 1:05:51 split at halfway he slowed slightly on the outbound trip to the turnaround near 31 km, but picking it up again after 35 km he marked a 6:34 from 40 km to the finish to stop the clock at 2:11:46,  a 1:05:55 second half …

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…

Kenyans Kabuu, Jemeli and Cheyech Lead Nagoya Women's Marathon Field

The Nagoya Women's Marathon is the largest women-only marathon in the world, one with a long history as an elite race and adapting to the times with a mass-participation field of 20,000. The last few years it has seen a series of dynamic, high-level performances by top Japanese women, from Sairi Maeda's 2:22:48 in 2015 to the 2:23:19 to 2:23:20 sprint finish battle between Tomomi Tanaka and Rei Ohara in 2016 to Yuka Ando's stellar 2:21:36 debut and teammate Mao Kiyota's 2:23:47 breakthrough last year.

Maeda, Ohara and Kiyota all return this year to face the Kenyan trio of Lucy Kabuu, Valary Jemeli and Flomena Cheyech Daniel. Kabuu went to high school in Japan before moving on to the big leagues, but she hasn't finished a marathon since her 2:20:21 in Dubai 2015. Cheyech also used to be based in Japan as is a familiar face here, winning the last two Saitama International Marathons. Jemeli is making her Japanese debut, and with a 2:21:57 win in Prague and a 2:20:53 …