Japanese University Team Wins Chiba Ekiden

Hanae Tanaka celebrates as she crosses the finish at the Chiba Ekiden Relay. Photo: IAAF

The marathon-distance relay race was ultimately decided in the fourth leg.

Ten international teams competed to win the prestigious Chiba Ekiden relay in Japan on Tuesday. The race comprises six stages with six alternating male and female runners covering the marathon distance. In a surprise upset, the Japanese collegiate team won the race, clocking 2:07:52. Kenya finished second in 2:08:06, while the Japanese national team finished third in 2:08:12.

The collegiate team made their decisive move in the fourth stage when Kasumi Nishihara moved into the overall lead of the 5-kilometer leg. Speaking to the press afterwards, Nishihara recalled the moment when she took the led. “Because I wasn’t too far behind the front runners, I decide to pass them all,” she said. Nishiwara’s time for that leg was a full 40 seconds ahead of the second-place team.

The United States placed fifth overall in 2:10:54. American Bobby Curtis ran a blazing 13:36 5K on the opening leg, while Kim Conley ran an impressive fourth leg (16:41), which was tied for second-best.

For More: IAAF

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