Japan sending colossal Sochi team

With 113 athletes Japan's Sochi Olympic team is the largest ever contingent sent abroad for the Winter Games.

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech to Jappan's Winter Olympic delegation in Tokyo [AFP]
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech to Jappan's Winter Olympic delegation in Tokyo [AFP]

    Japan is sending 113 athletes to the Sochi Olympics, the largest contingent sent abroad for the Winter Games.

    For the first time women will outnumber men in a Winter Olympics for Japan, with 65 women taking part compared to 48 men.

    The number is due to the participation of Japan's 21-member women's ice hockey team which is taking part in the Winter Games for the first time since it automatically qualified for the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

    Women's ice hockey debut

    Japan's top medal hopes include Mao Asada and Yuzuru Hanyu in figure skating, Sara Takanashi in women's ski jumping and Keiichiro Nagashima and Joji Kato in speed skating.

    Japan's oldest athlete is ski jumper Noriaki Kasai, who at 41 will be participating in his sixth Winter Olympics.

    The youngest is 15-year-old snowboarder Ayumu Hirano.

    SOURCE: AP


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