8:56 p.m., Speedskating, women’s 500 meters: After winning a silver medal in Wednesday’s 1,000 meters, Nao Kodaira, Japan’s ace speedskater, will attempt to become the first Japanese female to win an individual speedskating gold medal at the Winter Olympics when she skates in her strongest event.
The 31-year-old, who is on a 24-race win streak at the distance, is focused only on finishing in first place. Which means she will have to dethrone the reigning two-time Olympic champion Lee Sang-hwa, who will be skating on home ice in South Korea.
Also competing for Japan are Arisa Go, who has four third-place finishes on the World Cup circuit this year, and Erina Kamiya, who was third overall at the distance in the 2016-17 World Cup standings.
8 p.m., Speedskating, men’s team pursuit, quarterfinals: Japan, which earned silver at a World Cup event in Calgary in December, will be looking to reach the podium with the team of Shane Williamson, Shota Nakamura, Ryosuke Tsuchiya and Seitaro Ichinohe. Williamson missed the men’s 5,000 due to a stomachache and finished 10th in the 1,500 on Tuesday.
8 p.m., Freestyle skiing, men’s aerials, finals: Former national team gymnast Naoya Tabara took up freestyle skiing in 2006, made his debut on the World Cup circuit in 2008 and is now primed for his Olympic debut.
Tabara became the first Japanese man to reach to record a podium finish in aerials in a World Cup competition when he finished third in an event in 2012.
The 37-year old reached the podium again this season, finishing third at an event in Lake Placid, New York in January.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5