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Speed skating: Kodaira opens World Cup season with another 500 win

Japan’s Nao Kodaira opened her World Cup season with another 500-meter victory on Friday, while her compatriots captured their eighth straight World Cup women’s team pursuit win.

Skating on home ice at Tokachi Oval in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, defending Olympic 500-m champion Kodaira won in 37.496 seconds, 0.54 ahead of compatriot Maki Tsuji. American Brittany Bowe was third, 0.66 off the pace, with Japan’s Miho Takagi another 0.13 back in fourth.

Kodaira has won 30 straight races over 500 meters in all competitions.

In team pursuit, Olympic champions Miho Takagi, her sister Nana and Ayano Sato crossed the finish line in 2 minutes, 57.80 seconds.

The Dutch, runners-up at February’s Pyeongchang Olympics, were second again, 2.33 seconds back, while Russia was third 3.31 off the pace.

All — Kyodo News+

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