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Kenya edges Japan in Chiba International Ekiden

Kyodo

Japan finished second to defending champion Kenya in Friday’s Chiba International Ekiden.

The race, which started and finished at the Chiba Prefectural Sports Center, is a six-leg event with teams comprising men and women.

Japan completed the 42.195-km course in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 16 seconds, just 10 seconds behind the Kenyans in the competition pitting 15 teams from 13 countries. The defending champs led through the first four legs with Japan in second until Yuichiro Ueno seized the lead in the 10-km fifth leg.

Kenya anchorwoman Joyce Chepkurui, however, ran the 7.195-km final leg in a record time to beat Hitomi Niiya to the finish line. The United States was third, while Russia was fourth and a select team comprising Japanese university students finished fifth.