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Nao Kodaira's 23-race World Cup 500-meter win streak ends

Kyodo

Nao Kodaira lost a speedskating World Cup women’s 500-meter race for the first time in four seasons when she finished third on Saturday.

“Competing means that if you can win, you can also lose,” Kodaira said. “I had a run of bad breaks and that was that.”

The Pyeongchang Olympics women’s 500 champion, Kodaira crossed 0.25 seconds behind the winner at Minsk Arena, Olga Fatkulina of Russia, who was clocked at 37.920 to edge countrywoman Daria Kachanova for the gold.

Kodaira also had a streak of 37 consecutive wins over 500 meters in domestic and international competition. That streak, however, came to a halt in February’s world single distance championships, when she finished second in the 500.

“I haven’t been concerned with numbers,” said Kodaira. “But if by chance I put together a winning streak, I think that made other people happy.”

Japan’s Maki Tsuji was fifth.