Former Hakone Ekiden Winning Coach Analyzes “Komazawa University vs Aoyama Gakuin University – The Difference between the Two Top Universities | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Former Hakone Ekiden Winning Coach Analyzes “Komazawa University vs Aoyama Gakuin University – The Difference between the Two Top Universities

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Susumu Hara, coach of Aoyama Gakuin University (left), who has shown outstanding competitive strength in the “Hakone Ekiden,” and Hiroaki Oyagi, coach of Komazawa University (right), who has won the “Triple Crown of Student Ekiden.

The “Tokyo Hakone Ekiden,” or the “Tokyo Hakone University Road Relay Race,” is a New Year’s tradition. This year marks the 99th edition of the event, and the outward leg on January 2 and the return leg on January 3 will be hotly contested.

Komazawa University and Aoyama Gakuin University are the two strongest teams in the race, and Komazawa University, which won both the Izumo Ekiden in October and the All-Japan University Ekiden in November with new records, is the leading candidate to win the triple crown, becoming the fifth school in history to do so.

Aogaku University coach Susumu Hara, who won the round-trip route in the last Hakone Ekiden and set a new overall record, is also prepared to go all out, saying, “Komadai is the only opponent.

(Sports newspaper reporter) “Looking at the sectional entries announced on December 29, both schools have placed their aces in the “flowery second section. Former Toyo University coach Hisashi Sato commented.

It is truly a match-up of two opposing schools. Komadai’s Ren Tazawa (4th year) is Japan’s representative for the 10,000m at the World Championships in Athletics. He told the press that he wanted to run in the 3rd section, but I applaud the decision of his coach, Hiroaki Oyagi. On the other hand, coach Hara has been using ace Koutarou Kondo (4th year).

When the team won the 96th championship, he selected then freshman Daiki Kishimoto (4th year) for the second section, surprising the crowd with his “Hara magic,” but here he has taken the right approach. In All-Japan, the two aces faced off in the 7th section, and both set new section records. Kondo came in second in the section, 14 seconds behind Tazawa, but it was a very impressive performance.

In addition, the names of Philippe Mulwa (3rd year) of Soka University, Boniface Murua (4th year) of Yamanashi Gakuin University, Duncan Kisaisa (2nd year) of Senshu University, and Tamaki Fujimoto (4th year) of NITS who overtook five runners in the second section in the last race, will be in the “Flower Section 2”. The names of Duncan Kisaisa of Senshu University (sophomore) and Tamaki Fujimoto of Nittai University (senior), who overtook five runners in the second section last time, will line up in a gorgeous lineup. For this reason, this year’s race will be watched closely from the starting gun.

If Komada University and Aoyama Gakuin University are ahead in terms of overall strength, the other schools will be looking to avenge them by aiming to win the onward race, and the current ekiden races are becoming faster and faster. I don’t think it will be a slow race where the teams will be looking at each other.

Indeed, at this year’s All-Japan Ekiden, Komadai’s Tazawa set a new sectional record in the 7th section by 43 seconds, and Komadai also broke the overall meet record by 4 minutes and 21 seconds.

In response to this rush of new records, Aoyama University coach Hara said, “We have entered a new era of Reiwa Ekiden,” according to a sports newspaper reporter.

Last year, Chuo University’s Yamato Yoshii (junior) jumped out of the pack after 5 km and won the Kanaguri Shizo Cup for the best runner with a new sectional record. The high pace of the race was one of the reasons for Aogaku University’s new overall time record.

The 87th race in ’11 was a masterpiece, starting with a great breakaway by Waseda University’s rookie runner Suguru Osako after one kilometer, and ending with the smallest margin in history of about 100 meters.

Toyo University practiced early in the morning of the following day, the 4th, and took revenge the following year. At the same time, the famous slogan “Shave off that one second” was born.

Speed duels have always fascinated spectators. This year’s “sectional entries” for the first section are lined up with speedy types.

I think Masahiro Megata (4th year) of Aoyama Gakuin University will go for it like he did at All-Japan. If Ryuji Miura (junior) of JUNDAI, who finished seventh in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Tokyo Olympics, joins him after being changed on the day, I think it will be a spectacular race,” said Sato.

The Hakone Ekiden, where cheering from the roadside has been lifted. This year, it might be a good idea to jump out of your kotatsu and watch the race live….

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