Mid-season bulletin in long track: Japan ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


25 décembre 2018

Mid-season bulletin in long track: Japan

Japan was one of the best countries to compete on the long track World cup circuit in the first four international events of the season.

By Jackob Savard
Photo: Schaats Foto's

During the next few weeks, we will present you mid-season bulletins for some countries that performed well during the first half of the season in short track and long track. To begin this series, here’s our mid-season bulletin for the Japanese long track team.

A solid team of sprinters
When it comes to sprinters, Japan showed they were one of the best nation in the world during these first four World cup events. The ladies’ team was led by Olympic champion Nao Kodaira who won all of the 500m events that she skated. She won 5 gold medals on the distance and is presently ranked 4th in the World cup classification even though she missed two of the seven 500m raced this season. She’s also ranked 6th on 1000m with a gold medal and a silver medal on the distance. Maki Tsuji was another Japanese skater who did well in the ladies’ 500m winning the bronze in Obihiro. She is currently ranked 7th in the World cup rankings. The Japanese squad in the ladies’ team sprint finished third in the World cup ranking.

The men’s sprinting team was also impressive. Twenty-two-year-old Tatsuya Shinhama is currently leading the World cup classification on 500m. His teammates Ryohei Haga, Yuma Murakami and Tsubasa Hasegawa all stepped on at least one 500m podium and are respectively ranked 4th, 5th and 6th in the World cup classification on the distance.

Some good things coming in the longer distances
Japan had better results in the sprint distances but we still saw good things from their longer distances skaters. Allround world champion Miho Takagi had a good start of her season. She is currently 2nd in the 1000m and 1500m World cup rankings. She was also one of the reasons for Japan’s success in the team pursuit. Japan won all three ladies’ team pursuit events of the season. Her sister Nana Takagi is currently in 12th place in the 1500m World cup classification, and in 3rd place in the mass start ranking even if she missed one of the race. 

In the men’s skaters, twenty-two-year-old Seitaro Ichinohe is in the lead of the 1500m World cup classification after four events thanks to a great silver medal in Poland at World cup #3. He’s also making his class in the 5000m. Even if they haven't collected the best results in the individual long distances, Japan finished third in the men’s team pursuit ranking.

Which Japanese skater impressed you the most during the first half of the season?

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