OBIHIRO, Hokkaido – Japanese speed skater Joji Kato bounced back from Saturday’s disappointing fourth-place finish to win the men’s 500 meters at the World Cup Obihiro meet Sunday.
The Vancouver Olympic bronze medalist clocked 34.96 seconds at Meiji Hokkaido-Tokachi Oval for his third victory of the season and the 10th of his career in the distance.
Keiichiro Nagashima finished runner-up for the second day in a row with 35.193.
South Korea’s Lee Kang Seok came third in 35.198. Akio Ota was fourth in 35.29.
“I spent three weeks to prepare for this event, so in my mind there was no reason for me not to win,” said Kato, who complained of a stomachache Saturday morning without any obvious causes.
“Today I felt well. I think that’s the main factor for my win,” he said.
In the men’s 1,000 meters, Samuel Schwarz edged out Olympic champion Shani Davis by 0.17 with a winning time of 1 minute, 9.98 seconds.
On the women’s side, Jenny Wolf of Germany picked up her fifth 500-meter win of the season with a time of 38.03.
South Korea’s Lee Sang Hwa was 0.18 behind in second place.
Heather Richardson of the United States (1:17.27) and Japan’s Nao Kodaira (1:17.77) were first and second, respectively, in the 1,000 meters for the second straight day.
Maki Tsuji (1:18.29) took third in the distance to stand on the World Cup podium for the first time in her career.
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