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Yoshioka soars to NHK Cup triumph

SAPPORO (Kyodo) Ski jumper Kazuya Yoshioka came from behind to win his first title in five years at the NHK Cup on Friday.

The 32-year-old Yoshioka was surprisingly in fourth after soaring 140 meters on his first attempt, but took the lead after an effort of 133.5 meters on the second run as his challengers dropped off at the K120 Okurayama large hill.

Yoshioka, who claimed gold medals in the large hill and team events at the Winter Asian Games that concluded on Sunday, collected a total of 288.3 points en route to his third NHK Cup title.

Tsuyoshi Ichinohe went atop the standings with the day’s longest leap of 142.5 meters on his first attempt but lagged on his second run before finishing in second with a total of 284.5. The 39-year-old Akira Higashi placed third.

Winter University Games silver medalist Yurika Hirayama took her first title in the women’s event.