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Cycling: Freestyle skier Hara embarks on keirin career

Daichi Hara of Japan poses for photos after finishing third in a men's moguls World Cup event in Calgary, Canada, on Jan. 12, 2019. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Pyeongchang Olympic moguls bronze medalist Daichi Hara could soon trade the ski slopes for the velodrome after passing the entrance exam for Japan's official keirin racing school, the Japan Keirin Autorace Foundation announced Friday.

    Hara will enroll at the school in Shizuoka Prefecture on May 9 and can register to compete a year later if he graduates, according to the JKA Foundation, which regulates track cycling and auto race competitions where gambling is permitted.

    "I'm ready to start my preparation to become a keirin racer. I'm going to do my best to never lose," the 22-year-old Hara said.

    The Tokyo native, who also won bronze at last year's world championships, has not decided whether he will retire from freestyle skiing, but he will not compete on the World Cup circuit next season.

    Hara follows in the footsteps of two other former Winter Olympians, speed skaters Hitoshi Uematsu and Tomoki Takeda, in qualifying to enroll at the school.

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