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Waseda claims first victory in 14 years at Izumo Ekiden
Students win first in series of 3 major ekidens, gain momentum for Hakone

Coach Yasuyuki Watanabe (far left) and 6 team members who won the first match in the series of 3 major ekidens.

The 22nd Izumo All-Japan University Ekiden (Izumo Ekiden; ekiden is a "relay road race"), one of the 3 major university ekidens, was held on October 11th in Izumo City, Shimane Prefecture. Waseda University won the race for the first time in 14 years and for the second time in the school's history.

The race course consisted of 6 sections (44.5 kilometers) from Izumo-Taisha to Izumo Dome. Waseda University set a new race record of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 5 seconds, defeating 2nd-place Nippon Sport Science University by the large margin of 1 minute and 11 seconds. The Waseda team ran wonderfully, with four of the six team members winning their individual sections. Waseda maintained its first-place position throughout the entire race while passing the sash between runners.

The momentum of this victory creates expectations for Waseda University to win all 3 of the major university ekidens. The next All-Japan University Ekiden be held in Ise on November 7th, followed by the Hakone Ekiden during the New Year's holidays.

Shota Hiraga (2nd year student of the School of Fundamental Science and Engineering) points his index finger upwards in celebration while crossing the finish line.