Suzuki earns spot on Japanese Olympic team

JACK GALLAGHER (Associated Press)
The Associated Press

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) -- Akiko Suzuki earned a spot on the Japanese Olympic team by winning her first national title at the All-Japan figure skating championships on Monday.

Suzuki won the free skate to overtake two-time world champion Mao Asada and clinch the automatic spot on the Olympic squad with 215.18 points.

She finished nearly 13 points ahead of Kanako Murakami, who had 202.52. Asada finished third with 199.50 points and will join Suzuki and Kanako Murakami on the Japanese team in Russia.

Suzuki and Asada will be making their second straight trip to the Olympics. Asada was the silver medalist behind Kim Yu-na in Vancouver, where Suzuki finished eighth.

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