Speedskater Kato earns silver in men’s 500

Kyodo News

Joji Kato took the silver medal in the men’s 500 meters at a World Cup speed skating meet on Friday.

The former world-record holder crossed the line in 34.452 seconds to finish runnerup to Mika Poutala of Finland (34.38), while Canadian Jamie Gregg took third, 0.006 behind Kato.

“It doesn’t seem right that I came in second with this time. I wonder if other skaters put in their best efforts,” Kato said.

Among other Japanese competitors, Yuya Oikawa (34.47) finished in fourth and Keiichiro Nagashima (34.55) in seventh.

In women’s action, Nao Kodaira clocked a personal-best time of 37.80 to place sixth in the 500. Germany’s Jenny Wolf (37.33) won the event for her fourth straight victory on the World Cup circuit this season.