• Kyodo

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In-form Keiichiro Nagashima came first in both the 500 and 1,000 meters to take the overall lead on the opening day of the national speed skating sprint championships Monday.

Nagashima, who has won the 500 meters twice on the World Cup circuit this winter, received 70.610 points after clocking a meet record of 35.21 seconds in the 500 and a rink record of 1:10.80 in the 1,000 at Fujikyu Highland Seiko Oval.

Nagashima is looking for his third national sprint title in four years.

Tadashi Obara was second in both races and trails Nagashima by 1.105 points with one race each in the 500 and 1,000 remaining. Defending champion and former 500-meter world record holder Joji Kato slumped to seventh in the 500 and placed 12th in the overall standings.

In women’s action, defending champion Sayuri Yoshii topped the rankings with 79.020 points, having won the 500 in 39.06 and the 1,000 in 1:19.92.

Shihomi Shinya sat in second place, while veteran sprinter Tomomi Okazaki took a tumble in the 500 and was back in 30th overall.

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