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Olympic ski jumping gold medalist Masahiko Harada will later this week be named captain of the Japan team for the 2002 Winter Olympics at a Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) directors meeting, sources said Monday.

Meanwhile, speed skater Eriko Sammiya is to serve as flag bearer at next month’s Olympics in Salt Lake City, but will be replaced by figure skater Yoshie Onda at a special ceremony for Japanese Olympic competitors to be held on Feb. 2 in Tokyo.

Sammiya, who narrowly missed out on her fourth consecutive national title last month, has been selected as a flag bearer but is unable to attend the ceremony as she will be abroad. Onda, who clinched fifth place at the Grand Prix finals in Canada last month, will act as flag bearer on her behalf at the ceremony.

The appointments will be officially announced after the next JOC meeting on Friday.

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