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Toyo University takes lead in Hakone ekiden

Kyodo

Toyo University took the lead in the Tokyo-Hakone collegiate ekiden road relay on Tuesday, winning the first day of the two-day race for the first time in four years.

Five runners from Toyo University, the 2014 overall champions and last year’s runners-up, clocked 5 hours, 28 minutes, 29 seconds over the 107.5 km route from Tokyo’s Otemachi business district to Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Aoyama Gakuin, aiming for its fourth consecutive overall title, was second, 36 seconds behind, while Waseda University was third.

Kazuya Nishiyama put Toyo on top after the first leg, and fourth runner Hirotsugu Yoshikawa stretched the lead over Aoyama Gakuin to more than two minutes.

Twenty-one teams from Kanto are competing in the event’s 94th edition. Wednesday’s return leg from Hakone to Otemachi will be contested in five segments over 109.6 km.