Sport Silver skaters on World Championship team pursuit, gold Kodaira...

Silver skaters on World Championship team pursuit, gold Kodaira at 500 meters | NOW

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The Dutch skaters have won silver at the World Championships in the night from Saturday to Sunday. Ireen Wüst, Antoinette de Jong and Melissa Wijfje became second behind Japan, which improved the world record. Nao Kodaira regained the title on the 500 meters.

Wüst, De Jong and Wijfje set the Dutch record in the final stage with 2.52.64. They dived for nearly three seconds under the old top time (2.55.48), which Wüst and Wijfje rode in 2018 together with Marrit Leenstra at the Olympic Games in Pyeonchang.

The Orange trio was nearly two seconds slower than Japan, which extended the world title. Miho Takagi, Nana Takagi and Ayana Sato raced to 2.50.76 on the Utah Olympic Oval and improved their own record from 2017 by eleven hundredths.

The bronze was claimed by Canada. Ivanie Blondin, Isabelle Weidemann and Valérie Maltais put 2.53.62 in the stage against the Netherlands and kept the Russia (2.53.92) just off a podium place.

It is the third time that the Japanese women take the World Cup gold on the team pursuit. In addition to the last two editions, they also triumphed in 2015.

The last time the Dutch skaters became world champions in team pursuit was in 2017. With five gold medals in this section, the Netherlands is still the record holder.

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Nao Kodaira reclaimed her world title in the 500 meters. (Photo: Pro Shots)

Kodaira rides at 500 meters for the fourth time ever

Kodaira became world champion for the second time in her career at 500 meters. The Japanese sprinted with 36.69 seconds to the fourth time ever. The world record with 36.36 has been in the hands of the South Korean Lee Sang-hwa since 2013.

Kodaira, who also took the world title in 2017 and took silver last year, was ahead of the Russian Angelina Golikova five hundredths. The podium was completed with 36.78 by Olga Fatkulina, also from Russia.

Title defender Vanessa Herzog was just short of a podium place. The Austrian finished fourth in 36.94. Brittany Bowe, who won the World Championship silver twice in the sprint number, disappointed and came with 37.65 no further than the thirteenth time.

The Dutch skaters performed excellent and all three rode a personal record. Letitia de Jong was sixth with 37.19, Jutta Leerdam set the eighth with 37.30 and Femke Kok finished in 37.45 in ninth.

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