Hakone Ekiden Qualifier Preview

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Saturday is the official qualifying occasion for the 99th operating of the world’s best street race. Again on its common course after two years as loop round a runway, the Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai half marathon has the eleventh via 53rd-ranked males’s college groups within the better Tokyo space racing it out to be within the high 10 and rating a spot in Hakone in January. All 43 groups discipline from 10 to 12 runners with their first 10 finishers scoring and groups ranked on their scoring runners’ whole mixed occasions. It is tense, dramatic, and each second from each runner actually does rely. Typically the distinction between tenth and eleventh within the group scoring comes all the way down to a fraction of that per runner. NTV might be broadcasting it stay beginning at 9:25 a.m. native time Saturday.

It does not must be mentioned that confirmed half marathon potential is the perfect predictor of half marathon success, however provided that groups can qualify runners through 10000 m greatest that is what organizers KGRR record within the entry lists. Going by these occasions, it appears to be like like a fairly clear high 8 however nearly useless even between ninth and twelfth, with the thirteenth and 14th-place groups proper behind them and fifteenth in vary. A group lacking the reduce can come down to 1 runner having a foul day, so depth in eleventh and twelfth additionally counts in a group’s possibilities.

Final 12 months’s winner Meiji College and Tokai College are evenly matched on the high of the rankings, and both may win. Nonetheless in a constructing part below new teaching, Daito Bunka College appears to be like unexpectedly sturdy in Third and has depth to match the two favorites. Yamanashi Gakuin College, Kanagawa College, Nittai College, Rikkyo College and Nihon College all look fairly protected to spherical out the highest 8. In the event that they succeed it is going to be Rikkyo’s first time making Hakone and an enormous success for younger head coach Yuichiro Ueno who has constructed this system up from zero in simply his fourth season.

From there issues get tough. Chuo Gakuin College, Waseda College, Josai College and Surugadai College are all evenly matched, CGU a step forward on depth however Waseda and Josai even there too. It is particularly fascinating provided that new Waseda head coach Katsuhiko Hanada and longtime Josai head coach Seiji Kushibe had been Waseda teammates again in their very own Hakone days.

Proper behind are Kokushikan College, Takushoku College and Nihon Yakka College, and it will be completely doable for one in every of them to luck out with a mix of a great run and a foul day for one of many higher-ranked faculties. If NYU made it it will be its first-ever Hakone, however whereas that is perhaps a stretch it is positively on the rise as a program and will consider coming seasons if it may possibly change the 5 seniors it has on the roster this 12 months.

In phrases particular person racing, 5 males have sub-28 bests for 10000 m, final 12 months’s winner Charles Kamau Wanjiku (Musashino Gakuin Univ.), Third-placer Noah Kiplimo (Nihon Yakku Univ.), Fifth-placer Joseph Razini Lemeteki (Takushoku Univ.), Charles Ndungu (Nihon Univ.) and Ryuto Igawa (Waseda Univ.). Wanjiku, Kiplimo and Lemeteki have all damaged 62 minutes for the half, however whereas they’re the favorites for the general high 3 that form of time remains to be in vary of fine Japanese collegiate males. 

One unlucky absence is Nittai’s Tamaki Fujimoto, who broke the meet report within the Kanto Regionals half marathon in Might. Fujimoto had an harm shortly after that race and his restoration has taken lengthy sufficient that he is not on Nittai’s roster right here. They need to nonetheless make it with out him, and hopefully he’ll be again in time for the primary occasion in January.

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