Nao Kodaira (JPN) gave a masterclass in sprinting on the first day of the World Cup Speed Skating in Stavanger on Friday. Having won the 500m, she took gold in the 1000m. Kodaira was almost half a second faster than compatriot Miho Takagi (JPN), who came second.
Kodaira clocked 1 minute, 14.33 seconds. In the 1000m she was slightly slower than last week in her victory in Heerenveen, but in her 500m race she had been faster.
“It’s smaller here and it felt like there was a slight tailwind,” the 31-year-old said.
In her current form, Kodaira should be able to attack both the 500m and the 1000m world records held by Sang-Hwa Lee (KOR) and Brittany Bowe (USA), respectively, when the World Cup series moves to high altitude tracks in Calgary (CAN) and Salt Lake City (USA) on the first weekends of December.
“I hope to be able to challenge the world record but we’ll have to wait and see. I have to stay focused on skating fast,” Kodaira said.
“These were not the perfect races. I think I can still go faster.”
Takagi clocked 1:14.79 to take silver, while Heather Bergsma (USA) grabbed bronze in 1:15.04.
Bergsma bounced back from finishing in sixth place in both the 1000m and 1500m in Heerenveen.
“I try to be relaxed now, because I know it’s not there and the more I push for it, the harder it is,” she said.
“I just hope to make a step with each race that I do and so far that seems to be in the right direction. I guess we’ll see it tomorrow with the 1500m again.”