FIGURE SKATING/ Takahashi wins Western Japan title, qualifies for nationals

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FIGURE SKATING/ Takahashi wins Western Japan title, qualifies for nationals

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FIGURE SKATING/ Takahashi wins Western Japan title, qualifies for nationals

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

November 5, 2018 at 15:25 JST

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Photo/IllutrationDaisuke Takahashi performs his free skate at the Western Japan championships in Nagoya on Nov. 4. (Fumitaka Ohnishi)

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NAGOYAâ€"Figure skater Daisuke Takahashi’s comeback bid took a step forward when he performed a nearly flawless free skate to win the Western Japan championship here on Nov. 4.

Takahashi, who announced his return to figure skating in July after retiring four years ago, led after the short program on the previous day at the Nippongaishi Arena.

He scored 161.11 points in the free skate, giving him a total of 244.67, more than 11 points ahead of the second-place finisher.

The bronze medalist at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics cleanly landed two triple axels and committed no serious errors in his performance.

With that result, Takahashi qualified for the Japan Figure Skating Championships in December in Osaka Prefecture. The top 12 finishers at the Western Japan championship can participate in the nationals.

Takahashi said his goal at the national championships is to score enough points in the short program to be among the final group of competitors in the free skate.

“If I look beyond that goal and see a medal, then I would like to set that as my goal,” he said.

According to the 32-year-old, his biggest challenge now is having enough physical energy for the latter half of his program.

After completing the free skate on Nov. 4, Takahashi appeared winded as he put his hands on his waist.

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