• Kyodo

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Veteran Japanese skeleton athlete Kazuhiro Koshi edged fellow Olympian Masaru Inada on Thursday to win his fifth national title and first in four years. The 40-year-old Koshi, who was eighth in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, trailed Inada after the first run but battled back to win the national title with a two-run total time of 1 minute, 51.31 seconds at the Spiral bobsled and luge track in Nagano. Inada finished runnerup nine seconds behind. In the women’s skeleton, Natsuko Naka won her second title in 1:55.71, eight seconds clear of second-place Eiko Nakayama. In the men’s four-man bobsled, Suguru Kiyokawa took his second straight national title as the driver in a team that also featured Takahiro Sema, Takashi Hori and Mizuki Tsujio as crew members.

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