• Kyodo

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Naoki Yuasa claimed a berth for the men’s Alpine skiing slalom event for his third Olympics at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games after winning the event on the final day of the national championships on Thursday.

The 34-year-old Yuasa, who competed at the 2006 Turin Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Games, triumphed in 1 minute, 40.73 seconds. Hideyuki Narita was runner-up and Shun Nakamura was third in Kushiro, Hokkaido.

“I want to do well in the remaining World Cup meets so I can be a medal hope for the Olympics, and compete in the Olympics in good condition,” Yuasa said.

He finished seventh in Turin but pulled out during the Sochi Games.

Asa Ando will likely claim a spot for defending her title in the women’s event. Emi Hasegawa and Emiko Kiyosawa were second and third, respectively.

Skiers who were not named to the national team at the three-day meet still have a chance to earn a spot. The Ski Association of Japan will also name those who had a top-eight finish this season or the in last season’s World Cup event or finish among the top-20 twice by the end of January.

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