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Miho Takagi, Tatsuya Shinhama lead chase for world sprint titles

Kyodo

Miho Takagi won two races to lead the women’s sprint standings at the ISU World Sprint and Allround Speed Skating Championships on Friday, while countryman Tatsuya Shinhama also positioned himself atop the men’s standings.

Takagi won the 500 and 1,000 meter races at Hamar Olympic Hall and earned the top spot with 74.385 points, leading compatriot and defending champion Nao Kodaira by 0.87 seconds.

Shinhama claimed 68.720 points in the men’s overall standings after winning gold in the 1,000 and silver in the 500.

The 25-year-old Takagi clocked 37.51 seconds in the 500, 0.02 seconds ahead of Kodaira and Vanessa Herzog of Austria. She went on to cross the line in 1 minute, 13.75 seconds in the 1,000, beating Dutch skaters Jutta Leerdam and Jorien ter Mors.

“I was able to win both the 500 and 1,000, but the overall winner is decided after skating four races. I’m glad but not relieved,” Takagi said.

Kodaira, who is aiming for her third world sprint title, placed second in the overall standings after finishing eighth in the 1,000. Olga Fatkulina of Russia sits in third with 75.295 points.

In the men’s competition, Shinhama recorded a time of 34.58 in the 500 won by Canada’s Laurent Dubreuil. The 23-year-old Shinhama triumphed in the 1,000, finishing with a personal-best time of 1:08.28.

Dubreuil placed second in the standings with 68.945, followed by Russia’s Pavel Kulizhnikov at 69.045.

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