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Miho Takagi races to third gold medal in Poland

Kyodo

Miho Takagi earned her third gold medal of the week Sunday when she led Japan to victory in the women’s team sprint at the ISU World Cup in Poland.

On the final day of action at Arena Lodowa, the team of Takagi, Konami Soga and Ayano Sato crossed the finish line in 1 minute, 27.82 seconds, followed by Russia and the Netherlands.

“I fulfilled my duty. This experience will help me (do well in other races),” said Takagi, who also picked up gold in the team pursuit and 1,500 meters.

Her gold medal in the 1,500-meter race on Saturday was her first of the season at that distance. Takagi won all four of the 1,500-meter races she skated in during the last World Cup season, but settled for silver in the first two races of this season.

The team sprint, a non-Olympic event, is contested over three laps, with each team starting with three skaters and one skater dropping out after each lap.

Earlier in the day, in the women’s 5,000 meters Division B, Takagi’s elder sister Nana placed fourth.

In the men’s 10,000 meters, Seitaro Ichinohe finished seventh, clocking 13:37.83 in the race won by Dutchman Marcel Bosker in 13:25.27.

Ichinohe is a member of the men’s pursuit team that captured gold on Friday. The 22-year-old Japanese also took silver in Saturday’s 1,500 meters.