Text by Masato Sakai
On October 10, 2021, Izumo Ekiden of Tokyo International University took the first victory for the first time. Vincent reaching the goal Photo = SportsPressJP / Aflo
“Speed Ekiden” should be a great battle
The three major Ekiden student races will start on October 10 at Hizumo Ekiden. Izumo has 6 sections of 45.1 km (section 1 8.0 km, section 2 5.8 km, section 3 8.5 km, section 4 6.2 km, section 5 6.4 km, section 6 10.2 kilometres). Compared with All Japan (8 sections 106.8 km) and Hakone (10 sections 217.1 km), the distance is shorter and the number of sections is smaller. Last time out, Tokyo International University escaped with Ken Tansho in the 3rd district and achieved a feat of first participation and first victory.
What kind of drama awaits this “Speed Ekiden” where a big battle is expected? I would like to predict the “winning pattern” of the leading schools from the entry situation.
Tokyo International University, the winning school last year, Koma University, Seigaku University
The first is Tokyo International University, which is aiming for back-to-back wins. The W as of Ken Tansho (4th grade), who finished second in the 3rd section last time, and Yegon Vincent (4th grade), who won the prize in the 6th section, have sufficient breakthrough power. However, this time Masaya Yamatani (4th year), who started in 3rd place in the 1st district, Shinki Sato (2nd year), who was 4th in the 2nd district, and Hijiri Munakata (4th year), who was 3rd in the 5th Ward, were excluded from membership. Racing in the 1st division is important to aim for consecutive victories. Yusuke Shirai (2nd year), who scored 13:41.40 in the 5000m this season, is likely to be a point.
October 10, 2021, Izumo Ekiden, Ren Tazawa (Komazawa University) running in the 6th district Photo = SportsPressJP / Aflo
Considering the track record, Komadai, who wins back-to-back All Japan titles, should have been the favorite. On the other hand, Takumi Karasawa (3rd year) and Kotaro Shinohara (2nd year), who both have 13h30 on 5000m, were not registered. Although Mebuki Suzuki (3rd year) with a 10000m in 27:41.68 was entered, she did not participate in any races this season. Keita Sato (1st year), who holds high school records in the 1500m, 3000m and 5000m, was lackluster at the Japan Intercollegiate Championships in September (7th in 1500m). Last time (5th place), Ren Tazawa (4th grade) placed in the final 6th district, but since he struggled to place 8th at the end of the 5th district, it is possible to use the as absolute in the 3rd arrondissement. To aim for Ekiden’s long-awaited 3 crowns, Suzuki’s full recovery and fast super rookie run are a must.
October 10, 2021, Izumo Ekiden, Shungo Yokota (Seigaku University) reaching the goal Photo = SportsPressJP/Aflo
With more than 25 runners in the 5000m 13 minutes, the champion of Hakone Seigakudai has a very good finish. At Japan Intercollegiate, ace Kotaro Kondo (4th year) won the 5000m in a row, Yuito Nakamura (4th year) was fifth and Shungo Yokota (4th year) was seventh in the 10000m. Kondo, Nakamura, Yokota and Masahiro Mekata (fourth year) ran in 1:40 p.m. at the Kizuna Record Challenge 5000m on September 24. Although Daiki Kishimoto (4th year) and Issei Sato (3rd year) were left out, Masaya Tsurukawa and Akimu Nomura (both 2nd year), who had no experience in Ekiden, grew up. The total power of the first 6 registered Izumo is the highest. However, since “Ace power” is inferior to Tokyo International University and Komadai, it will be V’s strategy for the first time in four years to take a good position in the first section and dominate in the linking section. .