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Olympics: Takahashi defends choice of music by 'deaf fraud'

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Japanese figure skater Daisuke Takahashi on Monday defended his decision to stick with the music for his short programme in the Olympics despite the revelation that its composer is a fraud.

Takahashi's "Sonatina for Violin" was supposed to have been composed by a deaf man dubbed 'Japan's Beethoven' but it turns out Mamoru Samuragochi paid someone else to write his most famous compositions.

Samuragochi's best-known works include a smash hit that had been adopted by classical music-lovers as an anthem to Japan's tsunami-hit communities. Doubts have also been cast as to whether the 50-year-old is actually deaf.

"To be honest, when I heard this, I was just astonished," said Takahahsi.

"I wasn't sure whether I could still use this music or not. I didn't know the background when I chose it; I just liked the music.

"It wasn't something I was aware of. I hope this problem will be solved, but I am still happy to be able to use this music for skating."

Takahashi said he was determined to make the most of his ticket to a third Olympic Games, in which he is the veteran with debutants Yuzuru Hanyu and Tatsuki Machida.

The skating idol -- the first Japanese man to win an Olympic medal with his bronze in Vancouver in 2010 and a world title in 2010 -- booked his ticket to Sochi, despite placing fifth at the nationals.

He did not participate in the team event in which Japan placed fourth despite a stunning performance by national champion Hanyu in the short programme which beat Yevgeny Plushenko.

"I am so excited to be here in Sochi and I'm going to do as much as I can do and do my best 100%," said Takahashi after his arrival.

"This is the Olympics, so of course I have pressure. I want to have confidence and I want to believe in myself to perform. I don't expect too much, but I'd like to do what I can for now."

Takahashi said he had been impressed by contemporary Plushenko's ability to come back and get a gold in the team event.

"I don't think that was 100 percent at his best, but I was still impressed. I always admire his physical and mental strength."

He added: "My right knee is not 100 percent. I don't have much pain, but I have water in my knee, so it was a bit difficult for me to adjust. Apart from that, my condition is very good and I can do my best."

It is the first Olympics for Hanyu, 19, and 23-year-old Machida.

"The atmosphere was very different here, and I felt nervous and even weak, but in individual competitions I'd like to perform as I usually do," said Machida, who finished third in the team free skate.

"After completing the team event, we have to focus on individual events. After the events, we'll join the closing ceremony and then I'll enjoy Sochi to the bottom of my heart."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140210/olympics-takahashi-defends-choice-music-deaf-fraud