Kodaira, queen of the 500m ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


18 février 2018

Kodaira, queen of the 500m

Nobody was surprised to see Queen Kodaira maintain her grip on 500m today, but fans were in shock to see one of the top countries fail to qualify on the men’s team pursuit.

By  Carl Savard
Photos by Schaats Foto's

After winning every single 500m race she competed in during the World cup season so far, we thought Kodaira could not impress us. She found a way. The Japanese superstar brought down the olympic record from 37.33 to 36.94 to win the gold medal. Korea’s Sang-hwa Lee, who held the previous olympic record, was also in action today. She had the pressure of skating after the new world record holder, knowing she would need a flawless performance to get the gold. Cheered on by her fans at the Gangneung olympic oval, she skated a fast time of 37.33, good enough for provisional second place. The tension was high as Lee would have to wait for the fast pair made of Austria’s Vanessa Herzog and the olympic athlete from Russia Angelina Golikova, to see if she would stay on the podium. With a time of 37.51, Herzog finished in fourth while Golikova’s 37.62 gave her the seventh place in the ranking. It’s a really emotional Sang-hwa Lee who completed the champion’s lap alongside Kodaira and third place finisher Karolina Erbanova from the Czec Republic at the end of the competition.

Nao Kodaira’s victory today added a second medal to her Pyeongchang adventure that also became the third olympic medal of her career. She had won a silver medal with team Japan in the team pursuit event at the Vancouver olympics in 2010. Sang-hwa Lee’s silver medal is also a third olympic medal for the Korean skater having won the gold in Vancouver and Sochi on the distance. For Czec Republic’s Karolina Erbanova, the bronze she won today is her first olympic medal. No medal for the Netherlands today at the oval, something we haven't been accustomed to at these games.

Team pursuit qualifying stage on the men’s side

Team Korea offered the best performance today during the qualifying stage of the team pursuit event finishing with a time of  3.39.29. The Netherlands completed the event with the second best time ahead of Norway and New-Zealand. Those four countries will battle it out in the final on Wednesday. After winning silver in Torino, gold in Vancouver and finishing fourth in Sochi, the Canadian team made of Denny Morrison, Ted-Jan Bloemen and Jordan Belchos finished the day in seventh place, almost two and a half second slower than Korea. Definitely a surprise for Canadians and speed skating fans in general.

Tomorrow's competition will see women skating the qualifying stage of the team pursuit event while the men will try to show the world who’s the fastest sprinter on 500m.

Visit our special coverage page to find all our articles related to Pyeongchang 2018 by clicking HERE.

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