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The Ski Association of Japan added Nordic combined ace Daito Takahashi and slalom specialist Naoki Yuasa on Monday to the list of Japanese skiers competing in the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Turin with six other athletes.

Takahashi, who finished sixth in the sprint event at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, will make his second straight Olympic appearance along with fellow Nordic combined skier Norihito Kobayashi.

Yosuke Hatakeyama, Takashi Kitamura and Akito Watanabe also made Japan’s Nordic combined team for the Turin Games based on their recent results on the World Cup circuit and in other international meets.

Yuasa was picked after posting a career-best seventh-place finish in a World Cup meet in Slovenia last week, joining Akira Sasaki who had already been selected for the Olympic men’s slalom event.

Freestyle skiers Kai Ozaki and Miki Ito also booked their respective places in the men’s and women’s moguls competitions in Turin.

The athletes who had earlier earned Olympic berths from the SAJ include moguls skier Aiko Uemura, snowboarders Melo Imai, Soko Yamaoka and Kazuhiro Kokubo, and veteran Alpine skier Kentaro Minagawa.

The Turin Games will start Feb. 10, 2006.

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