Kenya Second in 2014 Chiba International Ekiden

November 24, 2014

Kenya Lost the lead in the sixth stage to take second position in the just concluded Chiba international Ekiden in Japan.For the first time in five years, with host nation Japan winning.Brett Robinson of Australia  won stage 1 in the 5km men to give his country the lead in 13:33. Kenyan  Ndiku was  further back in 11th place.

Early in the second stage, Jessica O’Connell of Canada and Saori Noda of the Japanese Collegiate team drew level with the leaders, Madeline Heiner of Australia and Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand. Russia’s Yelena Korobkina began the stage in fifth place, but reeled in the leaders by mid-way on the second stage to join the leaders.  Although Kenya moved up from 11th to ninth on this stage, they fell further behind on time and were 78 seconds adrift of the leaders.

In stage 3 Japan’s Kota Murayama, twin brother of first-stage runner Kenta Murayama, covered the first kilometre in 2:30 to take over the lead from Evgeny Rybakov of Russia.Six kilometres into the stage, they were being followed by Kelly Wiebe of Canada and Duer Yoa of Australia, while Henry Sang had brought Kenya up into sixth place.Further back, Ken Yokote of the Japanese Collegiate team passed Australia and Canada to move into third to finish the stage 21 seconds behind Russia and ahead of Canada, Australia and Kenya.

Japan’s Misaki Onishi made up a three-second deficit to catch Alla Kulyatina of Russia in stage 4. Russia ended the stage with a four-second lead over Japan. Sheimth Muriuki had briefly moved into fifth place for Kenya, but had fallen back to sixth by the end of the stage.

Kenya’s Matthew Kisorio, fresh from a 59:50 half-marathon performance last month, started the stage 5 fast and immediately moved into fifth. A few kilometres later, he had moved into third place, But with every stride, Kirosio was getting closer and closer to the leader and two thirds into the stage, he finally gave Kenya the lead.

In the early part of the final stage, Kenya’s Mercy Kibarus led with Ayumi Hagiwara in pursuit. With less than 4km remaining of the entire 26.2 mile race, Hagiwara passed the World Half Marathon Championships fifth-place finisher.

But Kibarus instantly responded and surged back into the lead. Hagiwara then took a different approach and began to patiently reel in Kirabus, slowly but surely pulling away from her Kenyan rival to give Japan the victory in 2:05:53.In the end, Kenya finished a distant second in 2:06:29. Behind them, the Japanese Collegiate team edged past the Russian team into third.

The international ekiden, which started in 1988 with both men and women’s races, turned into a mixed race in 2007. Now in its eighth year as a mixed event, Kenya had won the past three editions, but Japan’s latest victory means they now have the same number of wins as Kenya.

Leading stage results

Stage 1 (5km, men)
1 Brett Robinson (AUS) 13:33

2 Jake Robinson (NZL) 13:34
3 Lucas Bruchet (CAN) 13:35
4 Tadashi Isshiki (JPN Col) 13:35
5 Egor Nikolaev (RUS) 13:38

Stage 2 (5km, women)
1 Yelena Korobkina (RUS) 15:21

2 Ayuko Suzuki (JPN) 15:21
3 Jessica O’Connell (CAN) 15:33
4 Nikki Hamblin (NZL) 15:34
5 Madeline Heiner (AUS) 15:37

1 Russia 28:59, 2 Japan 29:06, 3 New Zealand 29:08, 4 Canada 29:08, 5 Australia 29:10.

Stage 3 (10km, men)
1 Henry Sang (KEN) 28:25

2 Kota Murayama (JPN) 28:39
3 Evgeny Rybakov (RUS) 28:43
4 Ken Yokota (JPN Col) 28:44
5 Chris Landry (USA) 28:55

1 Russia 57:42, 2 Japan 57:45, 3 Kenya 58:42, 4 Canada 58:22, 5 Australia 58:23.

Stage 4 (5km, women)
1 Liz Costello (USA) 16:17

2 Shelmith Muriuki (KEN) 16:19
3 Alla Kulyatina (RUS) 16:19
4 Natasha Labeaud (CAN) 16:20
5 Misaki Onishi (JPN) 16:20

1 Russia 1:14:01, 2 Japan 1:14:05, 3 Japan Collegiate 1:14:24, 4 Canada 1:14:41, 5 Australia 1:15:00.

Stage 5 (10km, men)
1 Matthew Kisorio (KEN) 27:42

2 Zane Robertson (NZL) 28:22
3 Minato Oishi (JPN) 28:46
4 Anatoly Rybakov (RUS) 29:20
5 Kentaro Hirai (JPN Col) 29:31

1 Kenya 1:42:43, 2 Japan 1:42:51, 3 Russia 1:43:21, 4 Japan Collegiate 1:43:55, 5 New Zealand 1:44:23.

Stage 6 (7.195km, women)
1 Ayumi Hagiwara (JPN) 23:02

2 Rina Nabeshima (JPN Col) 23:21
3 Mercy Kibarus (KEN) 23:46
4 Lanni Marchant (CAN) 24:09
5 Rachel Ward (USA) 24:15

Final Results

1 Japan 2:05:53
2 Kenya 2:06:29
3 Japan Collegiate 2:07:16
4 Russia 2:07:42
5 New Zealand 2:09:00
6 USA 2:09:13
7 Canada 2:09:28
8 Australia 2:10:16
9 Germany 2:13:12
10 Chiba Prefecture 2:13:16
11 France 2:13:35
12 Estonia 2:16:49
13 China 2:19:56



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