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Harada, Yasuda make luge team

NAGANO (Kyodo) Japan’s luge organizing body has solidified plans to send Madoka Harada and Aya Yasuda to the Vancouver Olympics after a 1-2 finish, respectively, in the women’s singles of the national championships Sunday.

Harada claimed her seventh consecutive national title with a combined time of 1 minute, 43.409 seconds after two runs at the Spiral bobsleigh and luge track in Nagano. Yasuda was 0.864 behind.

Japan is expected to earn two spots for the women’s competition in Vancouver.

In men’s singles, Takahisa Oguchi won his second straight title and fourth overall in 1:41.591.