Skip to main content

Miyazaki Leads Fukuoka Six Days Into Final Grand Tour Kyushu

http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nsp/ekiden/2013/all/kiji/20131101/20131101_0004.shtml

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Running on home ground on Nov. 1 the Miyazaki Prefecture team won the sixth day of the 62nd running of the Grand Tour Kyushu ekiden.  Showing the hometown crowd its fire, Miyazaki lead over the six legs and 86.7 km from the Miyazaki Prefectural Government building to Nobeoka City Hall to claim its third individual day win so far in the eight-day ekiden.  Fukuoka Prefecture was close behind in 2nd, with Nagasaki Prefecture a distant 3rd.

Aiming to return to the top for the overall win in the Grand Tour Kyuhsu's final running, Miyazaki overtook Fukuoka early in the day to take over the top position.  Miyazaki runners won the first five of the day's stages, building a commanding lead of over seven minutes by the start of the Sixth Stage.  After his teammates struggled throughout the day, Fukuoka anchor Ryuji Watanabe (Team Toyota Kyushu) ran with guts and determination, closing the gap by more than two minutes to finish 4:49 behind Miyazaki, his third individual stage win in three starts at this year's Tour.

Behind 3rd-place Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Yamaguchi, Saga, Kumamoto and Oita remain in close contention for a podium finish with Okinawa a distant 9th.  Day seven of the Grand Tour Kyushu, at eight stages and 127.3 km the longest of the race, kicks off at the Oita Prefectural Government offices at 9:00 a.m. on Nov. 2 and finishes later in the day in front of Kita-Kyushu City Hall.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Lost in the luminosity of Eliud Kipchoge's world record and Gladys Cherono's women's course record at the Berlin Marathon were a score of Japanese results there and elsewhere overseas, ranging from the sparkling to the dull. Cherono and 2nd and 3rd placers Ruti Aga and Tirunesh Dibaba all broke Mizuki Noguchi's Berlin Marathon course record of 2:19:12 which has stood since she set that national record mark in 2005.

A kilometer behind Dibaba, Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) followed up her 2:22:44 debut in Osaka in January with a 2:22:23 PB for 5th, making her just the fourth Japanese woman ever to break 2:23 twice in her career. 2:23:46 woman Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) ran 2:25:23 for 7th, beating Tenmaya teammate Rei Ohara whose 2:27:28 put her only 10th but qualified her for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, only the second athlete after 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) to qualify for the trials under the two-race average wildcard opt…

Nittai University Head Coach Masaaki Watanabe Fired Over Abuse Scandal

On Sept. 12 Nittai University announced that it will fire ekiden team head coach Masaaki Watanabe, 55, over the current power harassment scandal surrounding him. According to the university's public relations office, interviews by the alumni association with five current and one former team member reported multiple acts of violence by Watanabe including kicking athletes' legs and grabbing them by the chest.

The interviews also reported that Watanabe verbally abused and threatened student athletes and attacked their character. When runners fell off pace during workouts he was reported to have shouted, "Get the hell out of this university!" and, following the runners in a car, "I am going to f*cking run you over and kill you." Injured team members were also reported to have been subject to verbal humiliation by Watanabe, including, "Look at this f*cking cripple," and "You f*cking deserve it." Watanabe admitted the accusations but said tha…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…