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Japan shines at World Cup meet

KYODO

Japan dominated the men’s and women’s team pursuit events on the opening day of the third World Cup meet of the season on Friday.

The women’s team of Miho Takagi, her sister Nana, and Ayano Sato stormed to victory in 3 minutes, 2.49 seconds at Arena Lodowa for Japan’s 10th straight gold medal in the event.

Russia finished 1.61 seconds behind the Pyeongchang Olympic gold medalists for silver, while Canada skated to bronze.

“We did a decent job and it wasn’t a bad race,” Miho Takagi said. “Our goal was to win the event, so I’m glad we won.”

In the men’s race, Ryosuke Tsuchiya, Seitaro Ichinohe and Shane Williamson clocked 3:47.50 for Japan’s first World Cup gold in the event in two seasons.

Japan took the lead midway through the race and edged Olympic champions Norway by 0.26 seconds. Russia took third.

Miho Takagi placed second behind American Brittany Bowe in the women’s 1,000 meters for her second silver medal of the season.

Ryohei Haga placed second in the men’s 500 meters won by Russian Pavel Kulizhnikov, who also claimed gold in the 1,000 meters.

Nao Kodaira, who won the first four 500-meter races of the season, skipped this event.