Thursday’s public vacation is the normal date for the East Japan Company Males’s Ekiden, the primary of the regional qualifiers for the Jan. 1 New Yr Ekiden company males’s nationwide championship. The New Yr Ekiden is the one one of many main championship ekidens with no seeded bracket guaranteeing top-placing groups a spot on the subsequent yr’s race, one thing that forces each company males’s crew to run the regional qualifier proper in the midst of fall marathon season. Liberalizing that setup would have a measurable impact on males’s marathoning, however like all the things else in Japan vested monetary pursuits and politics maintain issues the way in which they’re.
This yr the East Japan race, which covers the higher Tokyo space and additional north, returns to the roads of rural Saitama for 76.9 km in 7 levels after spending the pandemic on a loop course inside a park within the metropolis of Kumagaya. 31 groups are entered, a large enhance because of the transfer to permit membership groups to take part, with the highest 12 happening to the massive race on Jan. 1. In a primary, TBS shall be broadcasting the race on race day, not fairly reside however beginning at 13:55 native time.
There’s not a lot probability of 2022 New Yr Ekiden champ Honda or 2021 winner Fujitsu failing to qualify, even with Honda having misplaced anchor Hidekazu Hijikata to a greater provide from Kyushu Area rival Asahi Kasei. Right down to about Ninth-ranked JR Higashi Nihon issues are fairly predictable, however beginning with #10-ranked Konica Minolta, nonetheless in a rebuilding section after teaching and membership turnover, it begins getting attention-grabbing. Grocery store rivals Sunbelx and Comodi Iida are ranked eleventh an twelfth, with SID Group and Press Kogyo shut behind. The Tokyo Police Division crew can also be robust, making it no less than 6 groups in critical rivalry for the final 3 spots.
By way of people, Fujitsu is popping out onerous with monitor specialists Yuta Bando, Benard Kimeli, Kazuya Shiojiri, Ken Yokote and Hiroki Matsueda set to deal with the primary 5 levels. Honda is pinning loads of its hopes on Olympians Ryoma Aoki and Tatsuhiko Ito on the third and fourth legs and anchor Naoki Koyama, a key participant in its New Yr Ekiden win. #5-ranked GMO has a marathoner-heavy lineup, with Yuta Shimoda, Tadashi Isshiki, Yuya Yoshida and Ryo Hashimoto working 4th by seventh, whilst its high marathoner Suguru Osako is in NYC for the marathon there.
Worldwide athletes are restricted to the 8.0 km Second Stage, the place 16 groups are fielding Kenyans: Fujitsu’s Kimeli, Jackson Kavesa (Honda), Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu), Stanley Waithaka (Yakult), Gideon Kipkertich Ronoh (GMO), Ledama Kisaisa (Kao), Benson Kiplangat (Subaru), John Kariuki (Komori Corp.), Paul Kuira (JR Higashi Nihon), James Muoki (Konica Minolta), Samson Ndirangu (Sunbelx), Benard Kimani (Comodi Iida), Titus Wambua (SID Group), Lawrence Ngure (Press Kogyo), Alexander Mutiso (ND Software program) and Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Monitor Tokyo). Taken all collectively there’s not one other street race on the planet this week with this type of firepower in its lineup. Dwell outcomes shall be out there right here. English protection could also be out there on @JRNLive, with some on-site protection on @tri_chaser.
Additionally tomorrow, the Kyushu Area holds its regional qualifier, with 19 groups racing 80.2 km in 7 levels for the 8 New Yr Ekiden locations on the road. Megalith Asahi Kasei and the robust Mitsubishi Juko, Kurosaki Harima and Kyudenko groups are just about a given for qualification, with Toyota Kyushu and Yasukawa Denki additionally fairly nicely safe. That leaves three groups, Nishitetsu, Togami Denki and Hiramatsu Byoin in rivalry for the final two spots.
The primary stage has a tasty matchup between sub-61 half marathoners Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) and Yusuke Tamura (Kurosaki Harima), and a pair of:07:05 marathoner Toshiki Sadakata (Mitsubishi Juko), with the anchor stage that includes 2:06 marathoners Hiroto Inoue (Mitsubishi Juko) and Hijikata in his Asashi Kasei debut, sub-61 half marathoner Kiyoshi Koga (Yasukawa Denki), 2:07:38 marathoner Shohei Otsuka (Kyudenko) and extra.
The Second Stage is not as deep as within the bigger East Japan area however continues to be filled with top-level Japan-based African expertise like Davis Kiplangat (Asahi Kasei), Cleophas Kandie (Mitsubishi Juko), Joel Mwaura (Kurosaki Harima), Benard Koech (Kyudenko), Anthony Maina (Toyota Kyushu), Welde Tufa (Yasukawa Denki), Nixon Lessia (Nishitetsu), Simon Kariuki (Togami Denki) and Yeneblo Biyazen (Hiramatsu Byoin). Full entry lists are right here.