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Nao Kodaira posts fastest time in 500-meter time trial

Kyodo

Nao Kodaira got a boost ahead of her bid for a double Olympic sprint gold when she posted the fastest women’s 500 meters at a time trial before the Pyeongchang Games on Wednesday.

Kodaira clocked 37.05 seconds, not an officially recognized time, at Gangneung Oval, besting the time of 37.13 she posted on the same rink en route to victory at the single-distance world championships last February.

Although it was Kodaira’s personal best time at low altitude, she said: “I don’t think it was such a fantastic time and there are a lot of things I need to fix. It’s the kind of speed I have been skating in practice.”

Also for Japan, Arisa Go clocked 37.61 and Erina Kamiya timed 38.00. Kodaira’s main rival for the 500 gold medal, two-time Olympic champion Lee Sung-hwa of South Korea did not take part.