Ritsumeikan Men Win Fourth-Straight Tango University Ekiden – The Foreigners magazine In tokyo
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Ritsumeikan Men Win Fourth-Straight Tango University Ekiden

Written by on November 21, 2021


The sheer gravitational pull of the Hakone Ekiden drags most of the top high school boys’ distance talent to the Tokyo-centric Kanto Region for university. But for those on the Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe Kansai Region axis, Saturday’s Tango University Ekiden was the peak of the season. In the race’s 83rd edition, Kyoto’s Ritsumeikan University men overcame a mid-race challenge from Kwansei Gakuin University to score a fourth-straight Tango win.

Ritsumeikan first-year Hayato Omori got the team out of the gate well with a 27:33 to lead the 9.0 km First Stage. Ritsumeikan’s next three runners held the lead, but a course record 35:31 on the 12.3 km Fifth Stage from Kwansei Gakuin’s Sota Ueda dropped Ritsumeikan to 2nd. Kazuki Moriya extended Kwansei Gakuin’s lead from 6 seconds to 1:04, but when KGU’s seventh runner Yoshinobu Imai struggled Ritsumeikan’s Maki Yamada was three to pick up the lead with a new stage record of 38:32 for 13.3 km. Anchor Ryota Takahata, the only remaining member of Ritsumeikan’s overall CR-setting 2018 squad, brought the team home safely to a fourth-straight Tango title in 4:16:20 for the full 8-stage, 84.1 km course, just 20 seconds off the 2018 record.

Kyoto Sangyo University‘s seventh runner Kosei Urata also overtook KGU’s Imai, anchor Kaichi Izumi hanging on to give KSU 2nd in 4:17:36. KGU ended up 3rd in 4:18:51, far out of range of 4th-placer Kansai University. The top 10 auto-qualified for the 2022 race, with Doshisha University picking up the 10th spot in 4:31:11 by 19 seconds over Bukkyo University

Tango University

83rd Kansai Region University Men’s Championships

Tango, Kyoto, 20 Nov. 2021

22 teams, 8 stages, 84.1 km

Top Individual Stage Performances

First Stage (9.0 km) -Hayato Omori (Ritsumeikan Univ.) – 27:33

Second Stage (7.7 km) – Katsuhiko Kojima (Osaka Univ.) – 25:20

Third Stage (7.0 km) – Ryoga Kitazawa (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) – 19:57

Fourth Stage (9.8 km) – Itsuki Nagata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) – 30:17

Fifth Stage (12.3 km) – Sota Ueda (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) – 35:31 – CR

Sixth Stage (13.3 km) – Jinichiro Kameda (Kansai Univ.) – 39:47

Seventh Stage (13.3 km) – Maki Yamada (Ritsumeikan Univ.) – 38:32 – CR

Eighth Stage (11.7 km) – Ryota Takahata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) – 35:09

Top Team Performances – top 10 qualify for 2022

1. Ritsumeikan University – 4:16:20

2. Kyoto Sangyo University – 4:17:36

3. Kwansei Gakuin University – 4:18:51

4. Kansei University – 4:20:04

5. Osaka Keizai University – 4:22:14

6. Kyoto University – 4:23:15

7. Biwako Gakuin University – 4:23:58

8. Osaka University – 4:29:49

9. Kinki University – 4:30:37

10. Doshisha University – 4:31:11

——

11. Bukkyo University – 4:31:30

12. Kobe University – 4:31:58

© 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved



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