Miyakojima All Japan Strongman Triathlon won by Japanese

Miyakojima All Japan Strongman Triathlon won by Japanese

Emi Shioya breaks the finishing tape at Miyakojima City Field on April 24. She won the competition in the women’s race for the first time in five years.

April 25, 2011 ,by Yuuna Fukuhara,staff writer of Ryukyu Shimpo

THE 27th ALL JAPAN TRIATHLON MIYAKOJIMA was held on Miyakojima Island on April 24 (co-hosted by Miyakojima City and Ryukyu Shimpo)
One thousand three hundred forty six competitors (1176 male and 170 female) took part in this very strenuous event, which consisted of a three-kilometer swim, a 155-kilometer bicycle ride followed by a 42.195-kilometer full marathon.
The lead in the men’s race changed from one moment to the next, with Hayato Kawahara, from Tokyo, eventually coming out on top with a time of 7 hours 46 minutes 5 seconds, winning the competition for the first time in three years. This is his second victory.
Kawahara, who was in 11th place after the bicycle ride, overtook 10 opponents in the full marathon.
Local Okinawan resident Kanji Kuwabara came second, followed by Masayuki Matsumaru of Ibaraki Prefecture.
In the women’s race, Emi Shioya of Tokyo was victorious with a time of 8 hours 39 minutes 19 seconds, winning the competition for the first time in five years – her second victory.
Dominant in the full marathon, Shioya ran unchallenged in the final phase of the race.
Hiromi Matsumaru of Ibaraki came second, followed by Mai Taketomo of Fukuoka.
This is the third time in three years that Japanese have won both the men’s and women’s competitions.

Shioya, who broke the finishing tape at THE 27th ALL JAPAN TRIATHLON MIYAKOJIMA for the first time in five years, could not hold back tears of joy after winning the competition.

In the course of her training in New Zealand in January, Shioya collided with a boat when practicing swimming and injured herself. She looked back on her loss of form, saying, “I slipped off track.”
Discouraged and having lost her enthusiasm, Shioya said, “I totally lost my drive to perform in triathlons.” Unsure as to whether she was up to it even after she arrived at Miyakojima, Shioya said, “I was still uncertain if I could manage it.”

However, Shioya was saved by the words from the coach who had instructed her in New Zealand. “You have put in enough practice, so you will be all right.” These words gave her the lift she needed to change gear emotionally.

Although Shioya was six minutes behind the leader in the swim, she moved to the front with Hiromi Matsumaru in the bicycle ride, the part in which Shioya was confident of her ability. In the second half of that portion of the competition, Shioya boldly challenged Matsumaru and wore down her opponent. “I felt things going my way, so I tried to put pressure on her,” she said.With enough reserves of energy left, Shioya then took on the full marathon, in which she left the rest of the field in her wake after the first four kilometers. When it was over, Shioya had won the competition, having successfully displayed the difference in the quality of her ability.

Having come second for four consecutive years until this event, she looked relieved, saying, “I finally broke the jinx.”
Asked about the next competition, she declared in a tone befitting her status, “I look forward to defending my position as All Japan Champion.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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