by Alexandra Stevenson
Nobunari Oda, the popular Japanese competitor who has had a up-and-down career (4th in his debut in Worlds in 2006 but a shocking 28th in 2010), and his wife, Mayu, welcomed their second son on January 5. “Shintaro” joins his older brother, “Shinnosuke”, who was born on October 1, 2010.
It was a joyful occasion to help ease the disappointment of his fourth place in the recent Japanese championship. Oda, who will turn 26 on March 25, was only fifth after the Short Program, and though he was third in the Free Skate, he finished fourth overall, 2.14 points behind the bronze medalist, Takahito Mura. Mura was fourth in both sections, and a huge 44.67 points behind the winner, Yuzuru Hanyu.
Hanyu, who turned 18 on December 7, earned 285.23 (1.SP; 2.FS). Daisuke Takahashi (2.SP; 1.FS) was second overall, 4.83 points behind his young rival. Takahashi, who turns 27 on March 6, won the Japanese senior title 2005-2010 & 2012.
Oda, who traces his lineage directly back to the brutal 16th century warlord, Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582), trains partly in Barrie, Ontario, with Lee Barkell, and in Osaka.
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