Japan wins Yokohama ekiden

Kyodo

Three of Japan’s six runners clocked the fastest times in their legs Sunday to lead the country to its first victory in three years with a meet record time at the Yokohama International Women’s Ekiden.

News photoReiko Tosa crosses the finish line to clinch first place for Japan in the Yokohama
International Women’s Ekiden on Sunday.

The Japanese team of Miwako Yamanaka, Yuri Kano, Kazue Ogoshi, Megumi Yoshino, Yumi Sato and Reiko Tosa crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 13 minutes, 40 seconds, 41 seconds ahead of runnerup Russia.

Defending champion Ethiopia came third 16 seconds further behind while Kenya was fourth in 2:16:55.

After Berhan Aregawi gave Ethiopia the lead after the first leg, Kano hit the front during the 10-km second leg, the longest in the six-leg, 42.195-km race, and the rest of her teammates never looked back to give Japan its ninth victory of the annual road relay.

Kano, Ogoshi and Sato won the second, third and five legs, respectively. Russia’s Lilia Shobukhova and Meseret Defar of Ethiopia were the fastest in the fourth and sixth legs.

Matsumiya rewrites own record

KUMAMOTO (Kyodo) Japan’s Takayuki Matsumiya rewrote his own world record in the 30-km road race Sunday when he won an annual Kumamoto race supported by the Japan Association of Athletics Federations.

Matsumiya of the Konica track team crossed the line in 1 hour, 28 minutes in the race which started and finished at Bipuresu Kumanichi Kaikan in Kumamoto Prefecture.

His previous record of 1:28.36 was set in the same race in February 2003.