Salt Lake City – Miho Takagi won her third straight speedskating 1,500-meter event of the season on Sunday, staying unbeaten over the distance after the third stop of the World Cup held in Salt Lake City.
Takagi’s winning time of 1 minute, 49.99 seconds was just 0.16 second off of her world record time set two years ago at the same high-altitude venue, Utah Olympic Oval. Compatriot Ayano Sato finished second in a personal best 1:51.46.
“I’m happy to see a mark in the 1:49 range,” Takagi said. “But the (Beijing) Olympics will be a different competition. I hope to start all over for my next race.”
Takagi, the silver medalist at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in the 1,500, also won over the distance in the first two World Cup stops last month, in Stavanger, Norway, and Tomaszow-Mazowiecki, Poland.
Takagi made it a double after winning the 1,000 event a day earlier, her first victory over that distance in five seasons.
In the men’s 500 final, Wataru Morishige crossed the line in 33.99 seconds to win his first World Cup race. The 21-year-old became only the second Japanese skater after national record holder Tatsuya Shinhama to finish under 34 seconds.
“I’m surprised with my time and happy with it,” Morishige said. “It’s very satisfying. I tried to focus on each push of my skates.”
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