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Nao Kodaira wins in Nagano to capture 30th World Cup gold


Nao Kodaira won the women’s 500 meters on home soil Friday for her 30th speedskating World Cup gold medal.

Kodaira, the reigning Olympic champion, clocked 37.49 seconds at M-Wave ice arena in Nagano for her second victory on the World Cup circuit this season.

Russia’s Angelina Golikova finished 0.02 seconds behind, while Austria’s Vanessa Herzog was third in 37.65.

Kodaira’s 30 career gold medals include wins in both the 500 and 1,000.

The 33-year-old sprint specialist saw her streak of consecutive wins in the 500 snapped at 23 in November at the World Cup season opener. She won gold the following week but had to settle for third in her most recent 500 race on Saturday.

In the men’s 500, Yuma Murakami crossed the line in 34.58 for his first win, beating countryman Tatsuya Shinhama by 0.09 seconds. Russia’s Pavel Kulizhnikov took third.

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