• Kyodo


Up-and-coming 20-year-old Sayuri Yoshii won the first title of her speedskating career at the national sprint championships Wednesday when she topped the women’s field in total points total (lowest points wins).

Yoshii, who was second overall with one race left to go, won the 1,000 meters for the second day in a row in 1 minute, 19.24 seconds at Chino sports park skate center to replace overnight leader and veteran Tomomi Okazaki in first place with a four-race total of 157.945 points.

Yoshii was fifth and second in the two 500-meter races, respectively. Okazaki settled for second overall despite claiming back-to-back titles in the 500 and setting a rink record of 38.96 seconds Wednesday. Defending champion Shihomi Shinya was third.

The men’s overall title went to Masaaki Kobayashi with 144.180 points. Hiroyasu Shimizu, who was gunning for his third straight and eighth career overall title, was second.

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