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Takahashi, Asada top short program at Japan nationals

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She looked thinner than usual, she must have been under some stress. She could pick nicer outfits, the ones she wears seem old for her. And choose better music, please

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I don't know what to think of Mao, honestly. She should not be in the Olympics. All the other skaters are more consistant, and Mao would start well but finish 10th in Vancouver, or something like that. She just can't hold it together until the end.

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Go Mao! Looking forward to watching her and the others free-skate tonight!

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Mao has already secured a profession as a Model, that's enough for her, i guess.

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Mao should definitely be in the Olympics, especially if she wins the Nationals. Her problem is not unique. Many great skaters have lost confidence due to the immense pressure placed on them at a such a young age, both on and off the ice. Even if she comes in 10th, she deserves the Olympics at least as much as anyone else. Go Mao!!

I just wish the coverage allowed us to watch all the events, not just the events Japanese skaters are currently doing well in. It would also be nice to watch the entire events, or at least the last two flights from all events so we can see how top skaters from other countries are doing.

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I agree, it's J-tv but ice skate fans all over would be better served if they covered the entire events and not just interviewing the same faces all the time.

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whatsgoinon/XXXXX: agreed. But we ARE talking about Japanese TV, and do you remember the last Olympics? ONE medal. When the games opened there was plenty of excitement and coverage. Once it seemed like the Japanese might actually not get a single medal, let alone gold, the ratings dropped, and what little was being covered suffered.... until a figure skater won gold and that's all you heard for 3 years. The 'Ina Bower' move, or whatever it's called.

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Good luck to them both, though.

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-Ina Bauer

OSAKA, Japan (AP) — Mao Asada won the Japan women's national figure skating championships on Sunday to secure a place in the Vancouver Olympic team. Asada, first after the short program, began the free skate with a triple axel and was solid the rest of the way to finish with 204.62 points for her fourth straight national title.

Akiko Suzuki was second with 195.90 points, just .17 points ahead of Yukari Nakano. Miki Ando, who has already secured a place in the Olympics, was fourth with 185.44 points.

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