• Kyodo


Speedskaters Nana Takagi and Seitaro Ichinohe booked Beijing Winter Games berths Friday in the women’s and men’s 1,500 meters, respectively, on the final day of the Japanese Olympic trials.

Takagi clocked 1 minute, 54.84 seconds to finish second in the event won by her younger sister Miho in 1:53:19 at the M-Wave ice arena in Nagano.

Miho Takagi and Ayano Sato, who finished fourth, had already sewn up Olympic selections thanks to their strong World Cup performances this season.

The Takagi sisters and Sato were members of Japan’s gold medal-winning women’s team pursuit lineup at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

At the trials, Ichinohe won the men’s 1,500 in 1:45:83, two days after winning the 5,000.

Nana Takagi skates the women's 1,500 meters Friday at M-Wave ice arena in Nagano. | KYODO
Nana Takagi skates the women’s 1,500 meters Friday at M-Wave ice arena in Nagano. | KYODO

On Thursday, speedskater Nao Kodaira secured qualification in the women’s 1,000 meters for the Beijing Winter Games, where she will also defend her Olympic 500 crown.

Kodaira clocked 1:14:82 seconds on her way to victory in the 1,000 at the Olympic trials at the M-Wave. She won silver in the race at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The 35-year-old had already booked her ticket to Beijing in the 500 and did not compete over the distance in Nagano.

“I was able to prepare for the 1,000,” she said. “In the second half of the race, I was able to relax without losing any speed.”

Ryota Kojima, meanwhile, won the men’s 1,000 in 1:08.35 to earn his spot in Beijing.

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