Skip to main content

Biwako University Ekiden Suspended With Possible Move to Tango Peninsula Examined

http://www.kyoto-np.co.jp/sports/article/20130422000135

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Apr. 22 the organizers of the Biwako University Ekiden, held each November between Nagahama and Otsu along the west coast of Lake Biwa, announced that the event has been suspended.  With Biwako to have served as the 75th anniversary edition of the Kansai Region University Ekiden Championships this year, a move to an alternate course in the Tango peninsula north of Kyoto is being examined.

With various locations having staged the Kansai championships over the years, the Biwako University Ekiden became the host event in 2005, expanding the championships' scale by bringing together invited schools from the Tokai, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu regions along with the best of Kansai to battle for the title of #1 in Western Japan. With an eight-year history, last year 21 schools competed over Biwako's eight-stage, 83.6 km course. Following difficulties in achieving the event's original target of a course extending all the way around Lake Biwa and tremendous responsibility for the safety and well-being of the student athletes, debate began after last year's race about the feasibility of continuing to hold the ekiden.

The members of the executive committee taking part in the announcement included personnel from the Kansai Region University Athletics Federation, the Prefectural Government and local city government officials.  With no objections voiced to a proposal to shut the race office, the measure passed.  According to a Federation official, the possibility of staging this November's 75th anniversary Kansai Region University Ekiden Championships on an existing course in the Tango peninsula.  Still requiring the approval of participating universities in the Kansai region, the proposal has not yet been approved.

Almost simultaneously with the announcement of the Biwako University Ekiden's suspension, many of the best athletes from Kansai region schools ran the half marathon division of the 90th Kansai Region University Track and Field Championships Apr. 24 in Osaka.  Kyoto University's Kan Hirai was a surprise win, beating out athletes from more accomplished programs including Ritsumeikan University and Kansai Gakuin University to take the title in 1:06:01 by a margin of seven seconds over Kohei Koyama (Kansai Gakuin Univ.).  Kenyan Titus Kihara (Nara Sangyo Univ.) struggled, finishing only 11th in 1:07:28.

90th Kansai Region University Championships
Men's Half Marathon
Nagai Park, Osaka, 4/24/13
click here for complete results

1. Kan Hirai (Kyoto Univ.) - 1:06:01
2. Kohei Koyama (Kansai Gakuin Univ.) - 1:06:08
3. Naoma Araki (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 1:06:13
4. Naoto Nakanouchi (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 1:06:16
5. Masaki Okada (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 1:06:22
6. Shu Hamano (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 1:06:22
7. Takahiro Kawaguchi (Kansai Gakuin Univ.) - 1:06:28
8. Akihiro Tanimoto (Osaka Keizai Univ.) - 1:06:29
9. Daisuke Mizobuchi (Osaka Keizai Univ.) - 1:06:28
10. Yuki Niko (Kansai Gakuin Univ.) - 1:07:22
11. Titus Kihara (Kenya/Nara Sangyo Univ.) - 1:07:28

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Named Captain of Japanese National Team for London World Championships

At a JAAF event at the British Embassy in Tokyo on July 21, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (30, Saitama Pref. Gov't) was named men's captain of the Japanese national team for next month's London World Championships. Javelin throw national record holder Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) was chosen as women's captain.

In a wide-ranging and impassioned speech 4 minutes and 20 seconds long, Kawauchi stoked the team's morale as he told attendees, "I think that there are athletes here today who look at London as just a checkpoint along the way to the Tokyo Olympics. But as a representative of Japan it is not enough just to be there competing. I feel it strongly. You must produce results at this event, the London World Championships. This is the task assigned to each and every one of us. It is critical that we work seriously to achieve our goals. The Japanese people want nothing less. What can we as athletes do for them? More than just wearing the uniform, each of us mus…

'$500,000 USD Prized Asian Premier Marathon Series 2017-18 Launched in Beijing'

http://athleticsasia.org/index.php/k2-component/143-500-000-usd-prized-asian-premier-marathon-series-2017-18-launched-in-beijing

A very interesting World Marathon Majors-style development with prize money only for Asian athletes. Equally interesting is the absence of a Japanese race in the series. Japanese marathoners would dominate the series if they ran its three component races, their only real current competition in Asia coming from East African-born Bahraini athletes.

Hayakawa and Ichiyama Win Shibetsu Half

2nd in 2015 and 3rd last year, Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) finally succeeded in scoring 1st at the Shibetsu Half Marathon, outrunning 2013-14 winner Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) by 6 seconds to win in 1:03:38. Hayakawa pushed it from the early stages of the race, Imai the only one to try to stay with him but ultimately losing touch. 2016 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon winner Melaku Abera (Kurosaki Harima) was 3rd in 1:03:51.

士別ハーフマラソン
日差しが強くなってきました…💦 pic.twitter.com/qRfUei3aRt — はたのまき (@machakin77) July 23, 2017
The women's field was split between two distances, 10 km and half marathon. Kanako Takemoto (Daihatsu) won the 10 km in 34:27 by a margin of almost 10 seconds over an Otsuka Seiyaku trio led by Ayaka Inoue. 2017 National Cross-Country champion and last year's 10 km runner-up Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) took the top spot in the half marathon, outrunning teammate and national record holder Kayoko Fukushi and others to win in 1:14:01. Fukushi finished 4th in 1:15:41 behind last ye…