Nobu Naruse

Japanese Men’s Team Puts in Hours on the Glacier in Quest for Olympic Qualification

Japan sets draconian Olympic qualification standards for its athletes: if they can't land at least three top-12s in World Cup racing, then skiers are stuck at home and quota spots handed out by FIS go unfilled. The Japanese men have qualified as a relay team, but are working extra hard to prepare for early season World Cups where they hope for results that will allow them individual starts as well. For now, that means many hours on snow in Stelvio, Italy.

With the top Americans starting their race season yesterday in Munio, Finland with a skate sprint, the Canadians attempted to keep pace, taking part in a 1.6 k skate sprint in Bruksvallarna, Sweden. There were several top finishes by the Americans in Munio, including a win by Kikkan Randall, and  the Canadians kept the ball rolling in Scandinavia with more early-season North American success. The day started out extremely promising. Dasha Gaiazova tore up the...

Team 18: Japan

Japan Nations Cup Ranking: 18th (353 pts) Men: 16th (163 pts) Women: 19th (190 pts) 2010/2011 A Team (Best estimate) Men Yuichi Onda Nobu Naruse Women Masako Ishida Madoka Natsumi What you may have missed last season: Two years ago, during the 2008-2009 World Cup season, the Japanese ski team made history. Masako Ishida became the first Japanese national to win a World Cup medal by