Daisuke Takahashi completed the trio of figure skaters who will compete in the Olympics, a day after ending with a fifth place finish and a bloody hand at the National Championships. Takahashi, who won a bronze medal in the 2010 Olympics, stunned the crowd and fellow skaters when he was announced as part of the Olympic team, as he was selected over Takahiko Kozuka and Nobunari Oda, third and fourth placers, respectively, at Japan’s National Championships. Both Kozuka and Oda have experience in the Olympics and World Championships, however, haven’t reached as far as Takahashi had. Being the Grand Prix Champion, Yuzuru Hanyu was the first to secure a spot on the trio of Olympic figure skaters.
Selection for the other two spots does not solely depend on the performances at the nationals but also in international events, which secured Takahashi’s spot despite finishing fifth last Monday. He placed better in the Grand prix Championships, winning first place, better than Kozuka and Oda did during the competition. The other spot went to Skate America champion, Tatsuki Machida.
Mao Asada, after winning third at the National Championships, booked a spot on the three-women Olympic team to Sochi, along with Akiko Suzuki and Kanako Murakami.
[via NBC Sports]