Takahashi, Kozuka named to Japanese squad

Kyodo

Daisuke Takahashi, runnerup at the recently concluded world figure skating championships, was named Wednesday along with Takahiko Kozuka on the Japanese squad to compete in the World Team Trophy getting under way in Tokyo later this month.

Takahashi, who placed behind Canadian rival Patrick Chan at the worlds this past weekend in Nice, France, will take part but bronze medalist Yuzuru Hanyu will sit out the April 19-21 competition at Yoyogi National Stadium due to an injured right ankle.

Akiko Suzuki, who won the women’s world bronze and Kanako Murakami, the fifth-place finisher, will compete on the women’s side, but two-time world champion Mao Asada, who placed a disappointing sixth, was not selected.

Marvin Tran and Narumi Takahashi, who claimed Japan’s first pairs skating world medal in taking bronze, will also appear, as will Cathy and Chris Reed in the ice dance.

Selected skaters from six countries with the best results during the season compete in the disciplines of men’s singles, women’s singles, pairs and ice dancing. The team competition will be incorporated in the Winter Olympics for the first time in Sochi in 2014.