• Kyodo


Nao Kodaira earned her eighth National Single Distance Championships title in the women’s 500 meters on Saturday, while extending her winning streak at the distance to 16 straight races.

The 31-year-old Kodaira posted the best domestic time of her career (37.25 seconds) at M-Wave ice arena in Nagano for her third straight 500 championship in the event. Arisa Go (37.73) was runner-up, and Maki Tsuji (37.84) was third.

Kodaira, who beat her previous fastest women’s 500 skated in Japan at the end of last season, said she has room for improvement as she looks to carry over last season’s success into February’s Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea.

“If I flip that switch and get into fighting mode, I can do a little better,” she said. “I want to build up, gradually stepping on the accelerator more and more.”

Miho Takagi defended her title as women’s 3,000 champion in 4 minutes, 8.54 seconds, beating Misaki Oshigiri.

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