Winter Olympics results: Speed skating women's 500m

Kodaira wins gold in women's 500m speed skating

Japanese speed skating star Nao Kodaira paid an emotional tribute to her late friend and former teammate Miyako Sumiyoshi on Monday, a day after capturing the women's 500 meters gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

Defending champion Lee Sang-hwa of South Korea settled for silver, while Karolina Erbanova of the Czech Republic won the bronze medal.

Lee clocked a time of 37.33 seconds, 0.38 seconds behind Nao Kodaira of Japan, who broke Lee's four-year-old Olympic record to claim a gold medal with a time of 36.95.

Lee's compatriots Kim Hyun-young and Kim Min-sun placed 12th and 16th respectively in the same event.

"When I accepted the offer to be captain I felt a bit shy because I am not very good in front of people and I had heard the jinx about captains not being able to win gold medals", said Kodaira.

Last week, Bergsma finished in eighth place in both the 1,500 meter and 1,000 meter races.

The duo performed a joint lap of honour afterwards and posed together with their respective flags in what was considered a moment of harmony between the two countries.

"I am here speaking calmly now, but when I saw I had gone under 37 seconds on this lowland rink, especially on this Olympic stage, I was over the moon", Kodaira said.

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"Hanyu-san yesterday managed to get the gold medal so that gave me a lot of courage and really contributed to my race today".

"I didn't feel that my condition in the 1,500 and 1,000 was particularly bad, but I knew I had to change my rhythm from the way I skated in the 1,500". "I knew that", she added.

Kodaira said after Sunday's race that she had drawn courage from Hanyu's performance.

The Americans came up empty again.

A reply to that tweet says Kodaira is an unbelievable woman skater!

Brittany Bowe finished fifth in 37.530, and her US teammate Heather Bergsma was 11th in 38.13.

In the men's team pursuit, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway and New Zealand advanced to the semifinals on Wednesday. Now it's one race only since the mass start has returned to the Olympics for the first time since 1932. The Dutch, led by 5,000 champion Sven Kramer, were second in 3:40.03. "If you fall off by half a second, it ends up being three seconds by the end of the race".

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