• Kyodo


Nao Kodaira set her sights high for next year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as she made a triumphant homecoming on Tuesday after finishing the World Cup season undefeated in the 500 meters.

Kodaira won her final race at a World Cup event in Norway on Sunday and has claimed 15 straight women’s 500s this season in both domestic and international competitions.

“If I can skate the way I can then feel I can go even faster in Pyeongchang,” Kodaira told reporters upon her arrival at Narita airport. “I want to aim even higher.”

Kodaira, 30, wrapped up her second 500 overall World Cup title with a race to spare on Saturday, just under two weeks after she became the first Japanese woman to win the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships in Calgary.

“These achievements are the result of focusing hard on the task that is right in front of me,” she said.

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