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 Relieved Mao begins Olympic countdown

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PostSubject: Relieved Mao begins Olympic countdown   Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:27 pm

Relieved Mao begins Olympic countdown

source - The Japan Times

OSAKA (Kyodo) Mao Asada celebrated her Olympic berth-clinching victory at the national championships with a cake on Sunday night.

The next day the 2008 world champion once again expressed relief that she seized the last chance to qualify as she attended a news conference at an Osaka hotel.

"I'm relieved and I'm so happy," Asada said with a bright smile. "I was able to execute triple axels without any mistakes."

The 19-year-old won her fourth straight national title, placing first in both the short program and the free skate.

Asada has decided to skate at the Four Continents Championships in Jeongu, South Korea, on Jan. 27-30, less than a month before the Feb. 23 start of the women's figure skating competition at the Vancouver Olympics.

Other top skaters such as world champion Kim Yu Na and Miki Ando are sitting out the event.

"I hope to take momentum into the Olympics by pulling off a good performance there," Asada said.

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