• Kyodo

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Masaru Inada won his career first national skeleton title, outpacing the field on the first day of action on Thursday.

Inada, who competed at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, took the crown after clocking a total of 1 minute, 52.70 seconds for two runs at the Spiral track in Nagano Prefecture.

Inada timed the fastest on both runs and has nearly assured himself a spot for the Turin Winter Olympics in February after an impressive start this season. Defending champion and top favorite Kazuhiro Koshi came second in 1:53.66.

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