• Kyodo


Japanese Olympic medal hopeful Joji Kato clocked a new world record of 34.30 seconds Saturday, winning the men’s 500-meter speed skating final of the World Cup.

News photoJoji Kato celebrates after winning the men’s 500 meters in a World Cup race at the Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City.

Kato broke the 34:32 second record set by Hiroyasu Shimizu in March 2001.

With the new world record, Kato marked the first victory in World Cup races.

“I feel like finally I’ve made history,” Kato said. “I had thought the probability (of setting a new world record) was considerably low because I had thought bad results could not be helped.”

In the World Cup men’s 500 final, Shimizu shared 11th place with Yuya Oikawa at 35:06 seconds.

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