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Japan’s Koyama wins men’s giant slalom

22 Feb 2017
Sapporo, Japan, February 22, 2017: Yohei Koyama joined a distinguished list of Japanese winners of the region’s men’s giant slalom when he won the gold medal at the 8th Asian Winter Games on Wednesday. The teenager, who won a silver medal at last year’s Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, was the fastest in each of the two runs down the Sapporo Teine mountain course, clocking a combined time of two minutes 17.5 seconds.

Koyama became the sixth Japanese skier to win the event from the seven times it has been contested at the Asian Winter Games. His victory on home snow came despite having flown all the way back from Switzerland after competing at the world championships in St Moritz just three days ago.

South Korea's Kim Hyeon-tae took the silver medal, just a little under two seconds behind the winner, while the bronze went to Japan’s Hideyuki Narita. A large and vocal crowd attended the race in perfect winter conditions, cheering on the eclectic group of nations competing, covering all parts of Asia.

Malaysia and Timor-Leste were among the countries making their debuts in alpine skiing at the Asian Winter games. Yohan Goutt Goncalves, who represented Timor at the Sochi Olympics, finished 14th in his first major competition since taking a break from the sport.

Othman Mirzan, the grandson of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, finished 15th while teenage high school student Jeffrey Webb placed 15th.
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