Quote Of The Day
“With a lead of over a kilometer Soka [University] anchor Yuki Onodera was just a 23.0 km run away from history, the quickest a team had ever gone from qualifying for Hakone for the first time to winning it outside of the first couple of years back in the 1920s. It was going to be the biggest upset in the history of the biggest of races. The stuff legends are made of, right? … The math still didn’t work in [Komazawa University anchor Takuma] Ishikawa‘s favor, but in just over 3 km from there he closed another 40 seconds. Onodera was now in sight and visibly fading, and that only drove Ishikawa on harder. Just before 21 km he made contact, a hard surge into the lead, Onodera turning to look as he went by and dropping his head in defeat for a second. There hadn’t been an anchor stage turnaround at Hakone in 20 years, let alone from a kilometer behind or in the last 2 km of the 217 km race. It was absurd. Inspirational. One of those moments that elevates us all. And it happened in empty streets where any other year there would have been tens of thousands there to see it. Can you imagine what it would have sounded like?”
– Excerpt from Brett Larner‘s Hakone Ekiden recap talking about Komazawa University’s historic come-from-behind victory in the final leg to prevent underdogs Soka University from getting a shock victory.
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