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Twins help Toyo take ekiden lead

Kyodo

Twin brothers Yuta and Keita Shitara helped Toyo University grab the lead in the first half of the Tokyo-Hakone men’s collegiate ekiden road relay on Thursday.

The Shitaras and their three teammates traversed the 108-km course from Tokyo’s Otemachi district to the spa resort of Hakone, Kanagawa Pref., in 5 hours, 27 minutes, 13 seconds.

Toyo, which won the first leg for the first time in two years, will start Thursday’s 109.9-km return trip with a 59-second lead over second-placed Komazawa University.

Waseda University (5:32:22) was in third place and followed by last year’s complete race champion Nippon Sport Science University (5:33:45).

Yuta Shitara put Toyo top after the third leg and Keita stretched the lead on the mountainous fifth to boost the school’s hopes of a first overall championships since 2012.