GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Kyodo) Naoki Yuasa provided a morale-boosting result Sunday for long-struggling Japanese Alpine skiing, placing a career-high sixth in the men’s slalom event at the world championships in Germany.

Yuasa clocked a combined two-run time of 1 minute, 42.68 seconds to achieve the best finish at the Alpine worlds by a Japanese skier since Emi Kawabata took fifth in women’s downhill in 1989.

Of the other two Japanese in the competition, Ryunosuke Okoshi was 28th and Akira Sasaki did not finish the second run.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t get a medal,” the 27-year-old Yuasa said. “But the way I skied today made me believe I have a chance to medal in the future. Now I have unwavering confidence in my ability.”

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