• Kyodo

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Kanagawa University hit the front in a grueling uphill section of the final leg and claimed first-day victory of the Tokyo-Hakone collegiate ekiden road relay Wednesday.

Shogo Yoshimura overtook the two front runners on the 20.7-km portion through the mountainous terrain as his team clocked 5 hours, 36 minutes, 25 seconds over the 107.2-km course from Tokyo’s Otemachi business district to Lake Ashinoko.

Yoshimura turned a deficit of 1:13 to a 23-second advantage for Kanagawa University at the start of Thursday’s return trip to Tokyo, which will decide the overall winner of the annual New Year event.

Komazawa University failed to maintain the lead it grabbed in the fourth leg and crossed the line in second place in 5:36:48. Last year’s overall winner Juntendo University was third in 5:37:12.

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