STAVANGER, NORWAY – Nao Kodaira on Friday won the women’s 500- and 1,000-meter races in the second round of the speed skating World Cup.
This boosted her total World Cup wins to 14, eclipsing the Japanese women’s record of 12 held by Tomomi Okazaki. She had also triumphed in the women’s 1,000 in the opening round held in the Netherlands earlier this month.
“I hope to be able to challenge the world record,” Kodaira said Friday, according to the International Skating Union. “These were not the perfect races. I think I can still go faster.”
She added: “Unlike Okazaki-san, who stacked up her wins little by little, I’ve been able to win a lot in the past two years. It’s important to keep growing (in numbers). I want to work hard so I can surpass myself.”
Kodaira remains undefeated in the 500 since last season with 19 consecutive wins at home and abroad, including 11 wins in the World Cup.
In the 500, the 31-year-old sprint specialist Kodaira clocked 37.08 seconds, with Marsha Hudey of Canada taking second in 37.87 seconds and Austrian Vanessa Herzog third at 37.96.
In the 1,000, she completed her distance in 1 minute, 14.33 seconds, 0.46 second faster than the runner-up, her compatriot Miho Takagi. American Heather Bergsma came in third at 1:15.04.