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Wagyu Olympics picks winners with eye on beef industry's future

Superior marbling is no longer the only key standard for Japanese cattle

Oita Prefecture won the prize for best bull at the 11th Wagyu Olympics.

TOKYO -- The global popularity of Japanese premium beef and new competition have altered the judging process at the Wagyu Olympics, as organizers turn to productivity and other new criteria to help select this year's winners.

A record 513 cattle came to Sendai from all over Japan for the twice-a-decade contest, which wrapped up Monday. Kagoshima Prefecture took the top spot in the overall competition, dashing second-place Miyazaki Prefecture's hopes for three straight victories. Oita Prefecture took first for best bull, a prize evaluated on physique and pedigree, while Miyazaki won best beef cattle. 

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