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Ohtani tops list of Japan’s favorite athletes

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AP PHOTO/KELVIN KUO

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, warms up before a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, June 2, 2018.

The Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani is Japan’s most popular athlete, according to the results of a survey in June.

Ohtani, who excelled as a pitcher and batter in the major leagues after leaving the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, was the No. 1 pick of respondents from all generations. The 23-year-old topped the survey for the first time after ranking sixth in last year’s results.

Ichiro Suzuki, who currently serves as a special assistant to the chairman of the Seattle Mariners, was the second most popular athlete. The 44-year-old held the top spot for two years until last year.

Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu placed third. The 23-year-old skater won consecutive men’s gold medals at the 2014 Sochi Games in Russia and 2018 Pyeongchang Games in South Korea.

A total of 1,207 adults nationwide submitted responses to the survey, which was conducted by Tokyo-based analytic firm Central Research Services Inc.

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