Shiseido Breaks Princess Ekiden Course Record – The Foreigners magazine In tokyo
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Shiseido Breaks Princess Ekiden Course Record

Written by on October 25, 2021


Coming back from a scandal earlier this year in which a non-Japanese former team member spoke out about abusive behavior by male coaches toward the team’s female athletes, Shiseido was back with what looked like a more positive team culture, dominating Sunday’s Princess Ekiden with a course record win.
Shiseido didn’t quite lead start-to-finish, but it came close. Tomoka Kimura got it rolling with a 21:44 stage record on the 7.0 km opening leg, 38 seconds under the old record.  Former national champ Daiichi Seimei‘s Hibiki Sakuragawa broke the course record on the Second Stage to put her team 5 seconds ahead of Shiseido, but it didn’t last long as on the next stage Shiseido’s Naruha Sato retook the lead and built up a margin that Shiseido’s last three runners held. Anchor Kain Maeda brought the team home in 2:16:41 for the full 42.195 km distance, 21 seconds under the previous course record and securing the team’s place at next month’s Queens Ekiden corporate women’s national championship race.

Times were fast all around. Along with Shiseido’s overall course record and stage records from Kimura and fifth runner Yuka Takashima, the Second and Fourth Stages also saw new records. Hibiki Onishi (Universal) was fastest on the 3.6 km Second Stage, the race’s shortest, 29 seconds under the old record in 10:48. Teresiah Muthoni (Daiso) took 3 seconds off the 3.8 km Fourth Stage record, winning it in 11:25.

Muthoni gave a boost to the young Daiso team that helped it finish 15th and qualify for the Queens Ekiden for the first time. Also giving it a boost was the fact that the qualifying bracket was expanded from 14 to 20 teams this year. Iwatani Sango took 12th to make Nationals for the first time, fair and square, and like Daiso the Nitori and Saitama Ika Daigaku Group teams made the relaxed grade for the first time, finishing 17th and 19th. Another newer team, Comodi Iida, was locked in a tough duel with Canon over the final two stages for the final qualifying spot, but Canon anchor Natsumi Furukawa was too strong for Comodi Iida’s Kaho Nishizawa, opening a gap of 16 seconds by the end of the 6.695 km Sixth Stage to send Comodi Iida home. 

The influx of new teams was a good sign, and with Iwatani Sangyo’s sponsor company having been one of the race broadcast’s main advertisers their success at making it to Nationals was a win for the entire system. They and the rest of the qualifiers will join the top 8 from last year’s Nationals at the main event on Nov. 28.

7th Princess Ekiden

National Corporate Women’s Ekiden Qualifier

Munakata, Fukuoka, 24 Oct., 2021

31 teams, 6 stages, 42.195 km

Top Individual Stage Results

First Stage – 7.0 km

1. Tomoka Kimura (Shiseido) – 21:44 – CR

2. Haruka Kokai (Daiichi Seimei) – 21:51

3. Misaki Nishida (Edion) – 22:16

Second Stage – 3.6 km

1. Hibiki Onishi (Universal) – 10:48 – CR

2. Hibiki Sakuragawa (Daiichi Seimei) – 11:03

3. Yui Yabuta (Otsuka Seiyaku) – 11:07

Third Stage – 10.7 km

1. Kaede Hagitani (Edion) – 34:18

2. Naruha Sato (Shiseido) – 34:40

3. Natsumi Matsushita (Tenmaya) – 34:51

Fourth Stage – 3.8 km

1. Teresiah Muthoni (Daiso) – 11:25 – CR

2. Margaret Akidor (Comodi Iida) – 11:27

3. Naomi Muthoni (Universal) – 11:28

Fifth Stage – 10.4 km

1. Yuka Takashima (Shiseido) – 34:18 – CR

2. Honoka Tanaike (Otsuka Seiyaku) – 34:44

3. Yuna Daito (Tenmaya) – 34:46

Sixth Stage – 6.695 km

1. Yukari Abe (Shimamura) – 21:47

2. Momoko Watanabe (Tenmaya) – 22:09

3. Ayari Harada (Daiichi Seimei) – 22:16

Top Team Results

top 20 teams qualify for National Corporate Women’s Ekiden

1. Shiseido – 2:16:41 – CR

2. Tenmaya – 2:18:02

3. Daiichi Seimei – 2:18:32

4. Otsuka Seiyaku – 2:18:49

5. Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo – 2:19:05

6. Edion – 2:19:16

7. Hitachi – 2:19:29

8. Daihatsu – 2:19:45

9. Uniqlo – 2:20:11

10. Route Inn Hotels – 2:20:14

11. Shimamura – 2:20:27

12. Iwatani Sangyo – 2:20:37

13. Starts – 2:20:44

14. Universal  – 2:20:49

15. Daiso – 2:20:51

16. Kyocera – 2:21:00

17. Nitori – 2:21:35

18. Sysmex – 2:22:21

19. Saitama Ika Daigaku Group – 2:22:39

20. Canon – 2:23:39

—–

21. Comodi Iida – 2:23:55

© 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved



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