Japan to send 113 athletes to Sochi Olympics

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Associated Press

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 28 at 5:02 AM

TOKYO (AP) — 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.

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.

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