Komazawa University, second at the halfway point after Wednesday’s race, came from behind to win the overall title of the Tokyo-Hakone collegiate ekiden road relay Thursday for its first victory in two years.
Shigeru Yoshida quickly erased a 23-second deficit in the downhill portion of Thursday’s opening leg and set the pace for Komazawa, which went on to claim its second crown in the New Year event with a two-day total time of 11 hours, 5 minutes, 35 seconds.
Yoshida and the four other Komazawa runners combined to cover the 109.2-km route from Lake Ashinoko in the hot-spa resort of Hakone to Tokyo’s Otemachi business district in a second-day meet record time of 5:28:47.
Komazawa, featuring nine members from the team that narrowly lost to Juntendo University last year, added the latest title to the national collegiate ekiden championship the Tokyo school won last autumn.
Juntendo, a pre-race favorite along with Komazawa, failed to make up for a 47-second deficit and finished runnerup in 11:09:34.
Waseda University took third in 11:09:54 and overnight leader Kanagawa University settled for sixth overall.
The 78th edition of the Tokyo-Hakone ekiden features 15 schools from eastern Japan.
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