OBIHIRO, HOKKAIDO – Nao Kodaira kept her long-running win streak over 500 meters alive Saturday by claiming gold at a World Cup event on home ice.
A day after opening her World Cup season with a win, the Olympic champion clocked 37.298 seconds to extend her 500-meter win streak in all competitions to 31 races.
The 32-year-old sprint specialist finished 0.353 seconds ahead of runner-up Vanessa Herzog of Austria at Meiji Hokkaido Tokachi Oval. Russia’s Olga Fatkulina finished third.
Kodaira finished 0.198 faster than the previous day’s race, in which she lost her balance on the final bend.
“I think I raced well considering I did better than how I did before,” she said. “It wasn’t especially good or anything, but I didn’t make the same mistakes I made yesterday.”
Later in the day, Pyeongchang Olympic gold medalist Nana Takagi topped the podium in the women’s mass start. Irene Schouten of the Netherlands claimed silver, while South Korea’s Kim Bo-reum took bronze.
Takagi’s younger sister Miho finished runner-up in the women’s 1,500 meters, crossing the line in 1 minute, 55.127 seconds. She finished 0.09 seconds behind American Brittany Bowe.
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