Speed Skating: Takagi Becomes 1st Japanese To Win World Allround Championships

Speed skating: Takagi becomes 1st Japanese to win world allround championships

Miho Takagi became the first Japanese speed skater to win the world allround championships on Saturday, ousting six-time champion Ireen Wust of the Netherlands for the women's title.

Takagi clocked 1 minute, 58.82 seconds in the 1500 meters at Amsterdam Olympic Stadium, with Wust just 0.07 behind in second place. Takagi earned 166.905 points for the overall win despite finishing fourth to Wust's first in the 5,000 later in the evening.

"I think winning an event like this will remain in my memory for a long time," said Takagi, who was edged into silver in the 1,500 by Wust at the Pyeongchang Olympics last month.

Dutchwoman Annouk van der Weijden (169.840) finished third, while Japan's Ayaka Kikuchi (172.042) finished seventh.

Takagi, who also won gold in the team pursuit and bronze in the 1,000 in Pyeongchang, came into the second day of the three-day worlds as the points leader after winning the 500 and taking second in the 3,000 behind Wust on Friday.

"I feel fortunate just to have been able to enjoy the races and tournament. I'm filled with happiness after winning the championships," Takagi said.

Wust, who also won silvers in the 3,000 and team pursuit in Pyeongchang, was just 0.86 point behind Takagi due to a disappointing ninth-place finish in the 500 on Friday.

Takagi is the first Japanese to win the tournament that has men's events dating back to the 1800s. Keiji Shirahata took second in the men's in 1995 and 1997, while Seiko Hashimoto finished second in the women's in 1990.

The men's 1,500 and 10,000 races will be held on Sunday, the final day of the event.