• Kyodo

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Olympic gold medalist Hiroyasu Shimizu captured his second consecutive title in the men’s event and Shihomi Shinya won the top honors for women for the first time in her career at the national speed skating sprint championships on Thursday.

A day after setting a rink record in the 500 meters at the outdoor Kirifuri Skate Center in Nikko, Shimizu came home first in the 500 with a time of 35.73 seconds and was second to Yusuke Imai in the 1,000 for a four-race total of 145.055 points.

Shimizu secured his seventh overall national sprint title in the two-day competition, while Imai settled for second overall with 146.520 and Takaharu Nakajima third with 146.610.

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