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Cool Runnings: Japanese manufacturers unveil bobsled for Jamaican team

Jamaican bobsled national team members, center, and members of the Ota Ward manufacturer group pose for a photo with the newly built bobsled, on Oct. 5, 2016. (Mainichi)

A group of small factories based in Tokyo's Ota Ward, a factory belt, unveiled on Oct. 5 an original bobsled to be used by the Jamaican team, the first made-in-Japan sled to be employed by a national team.

    The bobsled project was launched in 2011 by young owners of small factories in the area to promote local manufacturers' high processing technology, and now more than 100 companies and organizations are involved in the project.

    The group is building four two-person sleds and recently completed two of them. The body of the sled is made of 3-meter-long carbon fiber reinforced plastic and painted with the colors of Jamaica's flag -- black, green and yellow.

    The Jamaican bobsled team became popular after being featured in the true story-based comedy movie, "Cool Runnings." Japan's manufacturing group aims to make the Japan-made sled's debut at the 2018 Pyoeongchang Winter Olympics.

    Junichi Hosogai, general manager of the association promoting the project, told a news conference on Oct. 5, "I hope the world sees the manufacturing skills of Ota Ward at the Olympics."

    Jamaica's women's team member Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian, who joined the news conference, praised the craftsmanship of the Ota manufacturers and said she was happy that her team is taking a step toward victory with the Japan-made sled.

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