Nao Kodaira to skip last World Cup event of season


Nao Kodaira will miss the final speedskating World Cup of the season due to poor physical health, the Japan Skating Federation announced Thursday.

The Pyeongchang Olympic 500-meter gold medalist, who has been battling a cold since last Saturday, decided to skip the March 17-18 event in Minsk to focus on recovery during the month.

“Since I’m still not in perfect condition, I thought it would be impossible to get better with travel overseas,” the 31-year-old said in a statement issued by the JSF.

After extending her unbeaten run in the 500 to 27 races, Kodaira withdrew from the final 1,000 at the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships on Sunday due to feeling unwell, missing her chance to defend her overall title she won last year in Calgary, Alberta.