• Kyodo

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Lausanne Switzerland

An 18-year-old Japanese male won the No. 3 spot and a 17-year-old Japanese female placed fifth in an international competition in Lausanne, Switzerland, for young dancers aiming to perform professionally.

Mitsuru Ito, of Saitama Prefecture, and Rina Kanehara, of Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, were among the 20 finalists competing Saturday at the 43rd annual Prix de Lausanne. Both were awarded scholarships.

First place went to Harrison Lee of Australia and second to Park Ji-soo of South Korea. The fourth spot went to Miguel Pinheiro of Portugal.

“I can’t believe it,” Ito said after coming in third. “I want to be a dancer who can move everyone.”

Kanehara said: “It’s as if I’m still dreaming. I’m really glad.”

Ito, who attended a ballet school in the city of Saitama, currently attends a school in Lisbon. Kanehara, who previously attended a ballet school in Joyo, Kyoto Prefecture, studies at a school in Monaco.

The top six finishers are allowed to enroll in prestigious ballet schools for a year and receive 16,000 Swiss francs ($17,300) in support.

Last year, Japanese dancers achieved a one-two finish in the competition.

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