First team pursuit victory of the season for Japan in Nagano

First team pursuit victory of the season for Japan in Nagano
By Sportsbeat

15/12/2019 at 14:57Updated

Japan women claimed their first team pursuit victory of the season on the final day of the ISU Speed Skating World Cup in Nagano.

The country's trio of skaters, sisters Miho and Nana Takagi, and Ayano Sato, wowed the home crowd by crossing the line in 2:56.37 – a rink record - to beat Canada by 1.44 seconds, while Russia clocked 3:02.39 for bronze.

Sato, who was competing for the first time this season alongside her fellow 2018 Olympic champions, was thrilled with her team's performance.

She said: "We set a rink record and won the gold medal. To finish with those kinds of results is thoroughly satisfying."

Meanwhile in the ladies 500m, it was Russia's Angelina Golikova who took gold, while Austria's Vanessa Bittner and Japan's Nao Kodaira finished in second and third.

In the men's races it was the Russians who reigned dominant, with Pavel Kuliznikov capping his World Cup return by winning the 1000m while Danila Semerikov won gold in the 5000m.

Kuliznikov clocked 1:08.454 to edge Kai Verbij and Hein Otterspeer of the Netherlands, while Semerikov finished in 6:18.605 ahead of New Zealand's Peter Michael and Russia's Alexander Rumyanstev in second and third.

Sportsbeat 2019