HAKONE, Kanagawa Pref. (Kyodo) Komazawa University student Shingo Sato clocked the fastest time in the third leg to lead his team to victory on the first day of the Tokyo-Hakone collegiate ekiden road relay on Friday.
Komazawa, which is seeking its third straight overall victory, finished the 107.2-km course from Tokyo’s Otemachi to Lake Ashinoko in the hot-springs resort of Hakone in 5 hours, 34 minutes, 34 seconds to claim its first opening day win in four years. Sato clocked a time of 1:04.16 on the 21.3-km third leg to give Komazawa University the lead before Hiroki Tanaka broke away in the penultimate leg to give the school its third first-day victory.
Tokai University, the winner of the all-Japan collegiate ekiden, trails by 3:26 in second while Asia University, last year’s 17th overall finisher, is third, 4:16 off the pace.
Last year’s opening day champion and overall runnerup Yamanashi Gakuin University got off to a sluggish start and are back in 11th.
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