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Monday, 13 May, 2002, 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK

Ticos are first to get started

Costa Rica, with Paolo Wanchope among them, became the first team to arrive in Japan when they reached their training camp at Suzuka on Monday.

The party of 42 landed in Kasai airport outside Osaka before travelling by coach to Suzuka.

They arrived at their hotel to a welcoming ceremony by the staff, with coach Alexandre Guimaraes receiving a lei of folded paper cranes, which was hung around his neck.

The squad will prepare for the World Cup in Japan before departing for South Korea for their Group C matches against Brazil, Turkey and China.

During their period in Japan, they will play a friendly international against Belgium in Kumamoto on 26 May.

According to the Costa Rican FA, Wanchope will train with the rest of the team on Tuesday.

The Manchester City player underwent a knee operation two months ago and his participation in the tournamnent has since been in doubt.


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