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Fujimoto Wins Fifth Okukuma Half Marathon

by Brett Larner
click lower photo for video courtesy of TKU


Two weeks after they clashed on the New Year Ekiden's opening stage, Taku Fujimoto (Team Toyota) got payback for his one second loss to newcomer Atsuya Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu), beating Imai by ten seconds to win the 5th running of the Okukuma Road Race half marathon in 1:03:51.  Imai led a solid showing of three men from the Koichi Morishita-coached Toyota Kyushu team in the top five, with only Junpei Nishi of the New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei team joining Fujimoto in breaking up the Toyota Kyushu hegemony.  Running his second half marathon of the year, last year's runner-up Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 6th in 1:04:17. Takeru Kobayakawa of Hakone Ekiden runner-up Toyo University was the top collegiate runner at 8th in 1:04:39.


5th Okukuma Road Race
Okukuma, Kumamoto, 1/15/17

Men's Half Marathon
1. Taku Fujimoto (Toyota) - 1:03:51
2. Atsuya Imai (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:04:01
3. Kento Otsu (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:04:07
4. Junpei Nishi (Asahi Kasei) - 1:04:12
5. Daijiro Nakahira (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:04:13
6. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:04:17
7. Junichi Tsubouchi (Kurosaki Harima) - 1:04:18
8. Takeru Kobayakawa (Toyo Univ.) - 1:04:39
9. Akira Akazaki (Takushoku Univ.) - 1:04:44
10. Ikkyo Yoshidome (Soka Univ.) - 1:04:45

© 2017 Brett Larner
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