Will the “national tournament” of Hakone Ekiden be realized in the 100th tournament two years later? … Still, the reason why it is quite difficult to break through the qualifying round at a local university ――Ekiden ――Number Web

The 98th Hakone Ekiden ended with the sixth overall victory in two years, with Seigaku University running through the top in a cool way. Student runners have started a “new year” from January 4th.

The 99th tournament will be held in Hakone Ekiden next year in 2023, and the 100th tournament will be celebrated again in 2024 next year. It’s time for the current second grader to become the highest grade student.

The prestigious Chuo University, which boasts a maximum of 14 wins, is aiming for the first “winning” in 28 years, centered on Ace Yoshii Yamato (2 years). Since there is a high possibility that the number of participating schools will be increased, Rikkyo University, which is in its fifth year of full-scale strengthening, will play a part since 1986 and will become a regular school of Hakone Ekiden. It seems that many universities are considering strengthening measures for the memorial called “100th Tournament”.

On the other hand, “nationalization long-awaited theory” is often raised by fans and related parties. In November 2017, Nikkan Sports reported that “we are considering nationalization in the Hakone Ekiden in January 2024, which will be the 100th commemorative tournament,” but at the 100th tournament, “nationalization” Will it be realized?

Hakone Ekiden, which is also popular in the “Kanto Tournament”

Hakone Ekiden is a tournament sponsored by the Kanto Student Athletics Federation. Since it is just a so-called “Kanto tournament”, universities belonging to other academic societies cannot participate. However, its popularity surpasses that of the “national competition” Izumo Ekiden and All Japan University Ekiden.

That is why promising runners from all over the country gather in the Kanto area with the aim of participating in the Hakone Ekiden. Looking at the birthplaces of registered athletes in this tournament (98th) by prefecture, Fukuoka has 17 people, Kumamoto has 14 people, Shizuoka has 13 people, Yamagata and Aichi have 11 people, and Nagano has 10 people. (* Refer to “Hakone Ekiden Official Guidebook 2022” for data).

In addition, many universities aiming for Hakone Ekiden not only exempt from tuition fees but also offer scholarships. Therefore, the number of influential players who graduate from high school and advance to the business team has decreased sharply compared to 20 to 30 years ago. The tendency of long-distance runners to aim for “Kanto (university)” is increasing year by year.

However, in the past, athletes from universities other than Kanto have run the Hakone Ekiden.

There was also a Hakone Ekiden where universities other than “Kanto” ran in the past.

In the past, athletes from universities other than Kanto have run the Hakone Ekiden.

[Next page]The reason why it is so difficult to break through the qualifying line at a local university

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