Skip to main content

Universal Entertainment Wins New-Format National Corporate Women's Ekiden Qualifier

by Brett Larner



While the university women's ekiden circuit continues to expand, the corporate women's calendar faced another cutback this year.  From roughly a half dozen corporate league regions, each of which holds a separate New Year Ekiden national corporate men's championships qualifying ekiden in November, corporate women's teams had already seen their regional qualifiers compressed to three qualifying races, West Japan, Central Japan and East Japan.  This year those three races were further combined into a single qualifying race in Munakata, Fukuoka with 24 teams competing for 14 "princess" places at next month's National Corporate Women's Ekiden alongside the seeded top 8 "queens" from last year's Nationals.

From the East Japan region, Universal Entertainment took the top position in 2:17:02 for 42.195 km in 6 stages, leading from the Second Stage to the end with stage bests from second runner Tomoka Kimura and fifth runner Mirai WakuSekisui Kagaku, also from East Japan, led on the First Stage thanks to Beijing World Championships 5000 m runner Misaki Onishi but spent most of the rest of the race in 2nd where it finished in 2:18:10.  Qualifying for Nationals for the first time, Japan Post Group made it an East Japan sweep of the top 3 thanks to a brilliant 32:13 win on the 10.3 km Third Stage from Onishi's Beijing teammate Ayuko Suzuki that saw Japan Post move up from 19th to 4th.  By race's end Japan Post had a solid grasp on 3rd in 2:19:49, and after outrunning multi-national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) for the stage win in spectacular style Suzuki had a likewise solid grasp on the title of Japan's next big hope.



Most teams finishing from 4th through 12th were lumped together in two groups, but some of the best racing happened further back around the Nationals cutoff line between 14th and 15th.  At the handoff to the anchor only 5 seconds separated the Sysmex, Shiseido, Juhachi Ginko and Toto teams.  A strong run from Juhachi Ginko's Yuka Koga put them up safely into 11th, while Shiseido dropped out of the fold into 16th as its anchor Mutsumi Ikeda struggled.  Sysmex and Toto were left racing each other for the last two qualifying spots, 13th and 14th, but behind them, starting 40 seconds behind in 18th, Canon AC Kyushu anchor Yuka Takemoto was tearing through the field.  Catching first the Edion team, then Otsuka Seiyaku, then Shiseido, Takemoto closed on Sysmex's Rui Nishida and Toto's Ayame Kazu in the last kilometer.  Nishida managed to stay ahead for 13th in 2:21:45 but in the final straight Takemoto came up almost even with Kazu.  After running the second-fastest time on her stage to get there it looked like Takemoto might succeed in taking Canon to Nationals, but Kazu summoned up just enough of a kick to hang on to 14th in 2:21:49, Takemoto just 1 second behind and out of the qualifying bracket in 2:21:50.  Many of the smaller teams' fortunes rest on making the national championship ekidens, so that single second was full of meaning for the Canon runners.

Princess Ekiden
National Corporate Women's Ekiden Qualification Race
Munakata, Fukuoka, 10/25/15
24 teams, 6 stage, 42.195 km
click here for complete results

Overall Results - top 14 qualify for National Corporate Women's Ekiden
1. Universal Entertainment (East Japan) - 2:17:02
2. Sekisui Kagaku (East Japan) - 2:18:10
3. Japan Post Group (East Japan) - 2:19:49
4. Tenmaya (Chugoku) - 2:20:04
5. Noritz (Kansai) - 2:20:08
6. Route Inn Hotels (East Japan) - 2:20:11
7. Hitachi (East Japan) - 2:20:23
8. Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo (East Japan) - 2:20:42
9. Wacoal (Kansai) - 2:20:58
10. Hokuren (East Japan) - 2:21:10
11. Juhachi Ginko (Kyushu) - 2:21:19
12. Panasonic (East Japan) - 2:21:22
13. Sysmex (Kansai) - 2:21:45
14. Toto (Kyushu) - 2:21:49
-----
15. Canon AC Kyushu (Kyushu) - 2:21:50
16. Shiseido (East Japan) - 2:22:04

Individual Stage Results
First Stage - 7.0 km
1. Misaki Onishi (Sekisui Kagaku) - 22:50
2. Saori Noda (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 22:53
3. Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) - 22:55

Second Stage - 4.0 km
1. Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) - 12:37
2. Risa Kikuchi (Hitachi) - 12:43
3. Chiaki Morikawa (Starts)

Third Stage - 10.3 km
1. Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post Group) - 32:13
2. Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) - 32:22
3. Miho Shimizu (Hokuren) - 32:48

Fourth Stage - 3.8 km
1. Pauline Kamulu (Route Inn Hotels) - 11:39
2. Doricah Obare (Hitachi) - 11:53
3. Felista Wanjugu (Universal Entertainment) - 11:59

Fifth Stage - 10.4 km
1. Mirai Waku (Universal Entertainment) - 34:51
2. Sayaka Kuwahara (Sekisui Kagaku) - 35:25
3. Misato Horie (Noritz) - 35:48

Sixth Stage - 6.695 km
1. Miho Ihara (Sekisui Kagaku) - 21:40
2. Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu) - 21:47
3. Mizuho Nasukawa (Universal Entertainment) - 21:48

2015 National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships Field
Denso
Daihatsu
Yamada Denki
Toyota Jidoshokki
Daiichi Seimei
Kyudenko
Uniqlo
Shimamura
Universal Entertainment
Sekisui Kagaku
Japan Post Group
Tenmaya
Noritz
Route Inn Hotels
Hitachi
Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo
Wacoal
Hokuren
Juhachi Ginko
Panasonic
Sysmex
Toto

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Nikkan Sports Reports Olympic Ticket Lottery Success Rate of 2.95% Within Company

The Nikkan Sports newspaper company conducted a survey of its employees' success rate at scoring tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the ticket lottery drawing following the announcement of the lottery's results on June 20. Including the opening and closing ceremonies, track and field, gymnastics, tennis, badminton, baseball, softball and medal sessions in other major sports, out of the 1288 sessions for which Nikkan employees applied they won tickets to a total of 38 sessions. The success rate among survey respondents was just 2.95%, an indication of how hard it was to get tickets to Japan's home soil Olympics.

Translator's note: Of the 28 sessions I applied for I won tickets to three, two in athletics and one in archery. Including only medal sessions, I got tickets to two of the 22 to which I applied, both in athletics. Interestingly, one of the ones I didn't get was stadium seating for the men's marathon finish, showing what a hot ticket that is going be.

A…

17-Year-Old Ryuji Miura Breaks 3000 m Steeplechase High School Record in World-Leading Time

At the Kinki Region High School Track and Field Championships Saturday in Osaka’s Nagai Stadium, 17-year-old Ryuji Miura of Rakunan H.S. took down one of the oldest records in Japanese athletics, breaking the 30-year-old 3000 m steeplechase high school record by 5 seconds to win in 8:39.49.

Running in heavy rain after clocking the fastest time in the qualifying rounds, Miura went straight to the front in the final and was on his own within 200 m. From the start the record was in reach as he went through 1000 m in 2:49 and 2000 m in 5:43, building up a lead of about 200 m over the rest of the field.

Miura’s final time of 8:39.49 was the fastest in the world this year by an U18 athlete and 6th-best among U20 men, a new Japanese U18 record and all-time #2 for the U20 category. He came short of the outright Japanese high school record of 8:19.21 held by future marathon great Daniel Njenga, but took 5 seconds off the Japanese citizen high school record of 8:44.77 set back in 1989 by futu…

National Track and Field Championships Preview - Jumps

Japan's National Track and Field Championships kick off this Thursday in Fukuoka. It's the start of an important cycle for Japan, with national representation at this fall's Doha World Championships on the line in the lead-up to next year's Tokyo Olympics. Anyone who has cleared the Doha standard in their event will make the team if they win at Nationals, with other qualifiers and hgh-ranked athletes having to wait until mid-September to learn their fates. Over the next four days JRN will break down the favorites in each event.

In the jumps, not a single athlete in any event on the women's side looks to have a realistic chance of making it to Doha without a big PB in the next couple of months. All four of last year's women's national champions, Haruka Nakano (Nippatsu) in the high jump, Juri Nanbu (Chukyo Univ.) in the pole vault, Ayaka Kora (Tsukuba Univ.) in the long jump and Eri Sakamoto (Nihon Shitsunai TC) in the triple jump, return. Of them only Kora…