INZELL, Germany – Japanese speedskaters Joji Kato and Hiroyasu Shimizu booked their places in next year’s Winter Olympics in Turin after finishing 1-2 in the men’s 500 meters at the world single-distance championships Friday.
Kato clocked 35.57 seconds to take the lead after the first run and topped the field again in the second run with a time of 35.45 for a winning total of 1 minute, 11.02 seconds at an outdoor rink.
Shimizu was second in both runs in 35.75 and 35.71 and finished runnerup overall, 0.44 behind Kato. Jeremy Wotherspoon of Canada took third in 1:11.70 and Japan’s Yuya Oikawa was fourth in 1:11.78.
“I did it at last,” the 20-year-old Kato said after winning his first international title.
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