Okayama University


Okayama University Track & Field Club Take Fourth Place at the Chushikoku Student Ekiden

December 17, 2021

The Okayama University Track and Field Club came in fourth place at the “65th Chushikoku Student Ekiden”, held on December 5 in Yamaguchi City.

The relay team consisted of six runners: first-stage runner IWASAKI Ryota (second year, Faculty of Medicine), second-stage runner HARUNA Masayoshi (third year, Faculty of Letters), third-stage runner ASAHI Shunsuke (third year, Faculty of Science), fourth-stage runner HIRAO Gen (first year, Faculty of Engineering), fifth-stage runner HARADA Yuma (second year, Faculty of Education) and sixth-stage runner OGAWA Kota (first year, Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences). This year, a total of twenty-one teams from sixteen universities across the Chugoku and Shikoku regions competed in the long-distance relay, with two teams representing Okayama University (a total of twelve runners). In recent years, fifth place was the highest for Okayama University, so the team set fourth place as their goal, managing to successfully achieve it to the delight of all club members.

Commenting on the result, star runner Mr. Asahi said, “I was confident that we would be able to take fourth place. Competing as a team, with the energy of the club juniors, the reliability of the seniors, and not to mention my irreplaceable contemporaries, we continually supported each other, which helped us grow as a team and achieve this result.” First-stage runner Mr. Iwasaki got the team off to a good start and reflected on the race positively, saying, “I knew that we couldn’t afford any mistakes and I managed to run with composure. I am very grateful to all of my team members for a good race.”

The runners faced a difficult time as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which left them unable to practice for about two months. Club member MINAKATA Akihiro (third year, Faculty of Science), who supported the team over the past year, remarked on the team’s ability to overcome various difficulties and achieve a satisfactory result, saying, “there were many competitions that we as a club were unable to attend, but after club activities resumed, the team practiced with a sense of urgency and managed to achieve their goal.”

Track and Field Club is expected to continue performing well in the future competitions. Club leader Mr. Harada said, “This event made me want to perform even better, both as a team and as an individual. I want to win the section prize next year.”, while Mr. Hirao, the only first year in the fourth-place team, enthusiastically commented, “I will do my best to become stronger and set a good record in future track races”.