Nobunari Oda got off to a strong start in his quest for an Olympic berth when he took the lead over rival Daisuke Takahashi after the men’s short program at the national championships Friday.

Oda flawlessly executed a triple axel and collected 79.90 points, minutes after Takahashi failed in an attempt at the same jump and settled for second with 74.52 points at Yoyogi national gymnasium.

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