In Speed Skating

Last modified on March 10, 2017

2016 to 2017 season
Kodaira is queen of sprint
30 year old Nao Kodaira becomes the overall winner in sprint at the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships in Calgary to become the first Japanese woman by winning her last race on Feb 26 in Calgary. There was a man who achieved the feat in 1987. It's Akira Kuroiwa.

2005 to 2006 season
Kato breaks world record in 500m
21 year old Joji Kato clinched first place in the World Cup 500 meter event in Salt Lake City on Nov 20. He clocked 34.30 seconds while former world record holder Hiroyasu Shimizu finished 11th.

2001 to 2002 season
Shimizu on top at last
Olympic champion Hiroyasu Shimizu clinched the 500 meter race for the first time this season on Jan 20 in Hamar Norway at the speed skating world sprint championships. He clocked 35.17 sec,but he had to share the place. In a previous race Shimizu was 4th, so he was gradually getting back in shape as the Olympics are nearing.

New star--Takeda
In Calgary on Dec 9, Toyoki Takeda clocked 34.62 seconds to mark the season's fastest record in the men's 500 meters. He finished first for the first time in a World Cup event. Takeda was Hiroyasu Shimizu's practice partner. Meanwhile Shimizu is slowly recovering and from January will take part in the top races.

2000 to 2001 season
Shimizu breaks world record
In Salt Lake City on Mar 10, Hiroyasu Shimizu clocked 34.32 seconds in the 500 meters. He broke the world record held by Canada's Jeremy Wotherspoon by .31 second. Shimizu said after the race that he was not so satisfied with his speed, and could race even faster.

Shimizu overall winner in 500 m
On Mar 3 and 4, Hiroyasu Shimizu clinched the 500 meter race in the World Cup held in Calgary. He has secured his overall World Cup title in the distance for the 3rd time. Just this season, he's won 7 of the races. But Shimizu was not elated. He was aiming to break the world record on the world's fastest ice, but couldn't.

Shimizu's 30th victory
Hiroyasu Shimizu in Holland clocked 34.83 seconds in the 500 meter on Feb 3. It's a rink record. And he clinched his 5th World Cup victory this season, and his 30th overall. In the same race, Manabu Horii with 35.59 seconds was runner up.

Horii is back
Former Japanese champion Manabu Horii clocked 36.77 in the 500 meter race in Helsinki, Finland on Jan. 27. It's the first time in 3 years he clinched a World Cup event. It's his overall 22nd World Cup victory. His rival Jeremy Wotherspoon and Hiroyasu Shimizu finished 3rd tie. The competition was fought in poor weather condition.

Shimizu and Sanmiya are 2nd in sprint
The World Sprint Championships took place in Inzell,Germany over 2 days. Eriko Sanmiya finished an overall 2nd on Jan 21. The highest ever finish for a Japanese woman. Hiroyasu Shimizu failed to race well in the 1000 meters coming in 8th. Still his overall standing was 2nd.It's for the third time.

Shimizu in shape
In Nagano's M-Wave, the World Cup series was held. On Dec 16, Nagano Olympic champion Hiroyasu Shimizu raced the 500 meters against rival Jeremy Wotherspoon and clocked a faster 35.22 seconds to win. In the women's 1000 meter. Eriko Sanmiya won finishing 1 min.16.81 seconds. And the following day, Shimizu aimed for a 34 second race, but did not quite hit the mark. But with 35.10 --a rink record and the fastest in Japan, he again won. The woman to win the 1000 meter this time was Aki Tonoike. It's her first ever World Cup victory.

Season opens
Hiroyasu Shimizu finished 13th place in the 500 meter race of the season opener on Dec. 9 in Soeul. The winner was Jeremy Wotherspoon of Canada. Shimizu withdrew from the 1000 meter due to a calf injury. In the women's, Eriko Sanmiya was third in both the 500 and 1000 meters.

1999 to 2000 season
Shimizu wraps up season on top
World Speed Skating Championships Single Distances was held at the 1998 Winter Olympic site from Mar. 3 to 5. It's in Nagano's M-Wave. Hiroyasu Shimizu, in the men's 500 meter breezed to first in the first leg of the race clocking 35.3 seconds--a rink record. He skated even faster in his second attempt finished 35.12 seconds. It's the third time in a row, Shimizu clinches the competition 500 meter title. Other top contestants were Michael Ireland and Jeremy Wotherspoon both from Canada. Shimizu said after the race that he is looking forward to break the world record held by Wotherspoon and is targeting the next Winter Games to bring himself to top shape.

Okazaki thrives but not Shimizu
In Calgary's fast rink, on Jan. 29, Tomomi Okazaki succeeded in clocking 38.02 seconds in the women's 500 meters or a Japan record. Hiroyasu Shimizu attempted to break his record too, but he fell as he turned the curve during the 500 meter race. Insteady, his rival Jeremy Wotherspoon marked 34'62" a world record.

Shimizu continously wins and women skaters too
Hiroyasu Shimizu clinched the World Bup series on both Jan 22 and 23 in the 500 meter race held in Montana. His career win totals 25. Also, Eriko Sanmiya won the women's 1000 meter with a time of 1 min. 18.79 seconds the first day, and then the 500 meters the next day. Tomomi Okazaki was the 500 meter winner on the first day with 39'14".

Shimizu breaks world record
On Christmas eve, and on Christmas day again Hiroyasu Shimizu broke his own world record in the 500 meter race. It was during the national speed skating competition in Yamanashi Prefecture. The time has been reduced to 35'24".

Shimizu continues to win
In the 3rd series held in Innsbruck, Austria on Dec. 11, Hiroyasu Shimizu did it again. He clocked a rink record of 36'01" in the men's 500 m. sprint. Tomomi Okazaki did too in the women's. For Shimizu it's his 3rd win, and the 2nd for Okazaki.

Shimizu off to a great start
Japan's ace sprinter Hiroyasu Shimizu already in the 2nd World Cup site clinched his career total of 22 wins surpassing the Japan record previously held by Manabu Horii. This was on Dec. 5 in Warsaw in the 500 meter race. Also, Tomomi Okazaki won the women's 500 the day before. Eriko Sanmiya followed.

1998 to 1999 season
Shimizu in Single Distance World Championships
Hiroyasu Shimizu clinched first place in the 500 meters on Mar.13 in Heerenveen, Netherlands with a time of 10:69 seconds. The next day, he came in after hometown man Jan Bos to win the silver in the 1000 meter race. Women skater Tomomi Okazaki was 3rd in the 500 meters on Mar. 12--sharing the bronze with Marianne Timmer.

Shimizu breaks world record, but...
In the 500 meter race held in Calgary on February 20, Hiroyasu Shimizu clocked 34:79 breaking the world record. However, Jeremy Wotherspoon skated .03 seconds faster. So Shimizu finished 2nd.

World Cup opens with Shimizu's victory
Olympic champion Hiroyasu Shimizu skated the 1st of the World Cup series to victory. This was on Dec. 12 at the very rink he clinched Olympic medals--that is,at the M-Wave in Nagano. Shimizu clocked 35.40 seconds in the 500 meters. It's his 19th victory in the World Cup series. Up second was Canada's Jeremy Wotherspoon. In the women's race, Japan's Eriko Sanmiya came in second after Catriona Lemay Doan.

1997 to 1998 season
Shimizu breaks the World Record
Nagano Olympic 500 meter champion Hiroyasu Shimizu clocked an unbelievable time on Mar.28 in Calgary, Canada. His time was 34.82 seconds. It's the first time anybody has been able to race under 35 seconds. Shimizu's very compact and quick so-called bullet start was perfect. His total time from 2 attempts have given him the gold in the World Single Distance Speed Skating. Also on Mar.29, Shimizu came in 3rd for the bronze in the men's 1000 meters. On the first day of the championships on Mar.27, in the women's 500 meters, Tomomi Okazaki came in third. She was also third in the Nagano Olympics.

Shimizu clinches the final World Cup victory
Hiroyasu Shimizu had finished the World Cup in great form. This was on Mar. 21 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the U.S.A. He marked a rink record of 35.68 seconds in the 500 meters. The win is Shimizu's 2nd World Cup victory this season, or his 18th total. His overall World Cup standing is 3rd.

Sprint World Championships
The Sprint World Championships was held in Berlin from Jan. 24. Finally, Hiroyasu Shimizu seems to be back in shape. On the first day in the men's 500 meters, Shimizu tied for 2nd. In the same event for the women's, Kyoko Shimazaki was third. Shimazaki broke her personal record by clocking 39.19 seconds. On Jan. 25, it was Manabu Horii who took the silver, followed by Hiroyasu Shimizu in the men's 500 meters. It's been 2 months since Horii has clinched a medal.

Kuroiwa revives
29-year old Toshiyuki Kuroiwa who has been regarded as the man of the past, place 2nd in both the 500 meter and 1000 meter races in the World Cup speed skating even held in Italy. It was on Jan.13 and 14 respectively. On the other hand, top Japanese competitors Horii, Shimizu and Noake have not been skating well for weeks.

Shirahata breaks world point record
It was in the national championships held on Jan.4, that Keiji Shirahata achieved an incredible record. That is, his total performance in the 500, 1500, 5000 and 10,000 meters have surpassed the world record which was formerlly held by a Dutchman.

Shimizu is hurt
On Dec.6, in Obihiro, Hokkaido, 500 meter world record holder Hiroyasu Shimizu apparently lost balance and dived into ice during the race. As he hit the cushion on the side of the rink, his right skate scratched his left leg. He had to get 6 stitches.

Horii breaks the record again!
Manabu Horii clocked 1 min. 10.63, to win the 1000 meter race at the World Cup in Calgary on Nov. 22. He broke the world record South Korean Lee Kyu Hyuk marked on Nov.6. Lee, as a matter of fact, broke the world record which Horii held. Horii cracked his first world record in Mar. 1996. Horii's improvement, this time, is accredited to the slap skate, with which he started experimenting just a month ago. Actually, the combination of the rink in Calgary and slap skate has led to a world record rush. On Nov. 24, Lee took back the title of record holder of the 1000 meter surpassing Horii's.

1996 to 1997 season
Japanese in World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships
In this championships, competitors race twice in the distance they are entered in. Both times are added up. The skater who races well overall, wins. In the 500 meter race, last years champion Hiroyasu Shimizu came in 3rd. Manabu Horii became the winner this time at 1 min. 13.55 secs. Shimizu was 1 min.13.97 secs.

Japan sweeps overall titles in the final World Cup series
Hiroyasu Shimizu became number 1 for the 6th time in the 96-97 World Cup series of speed skating on Mar.1 in Inzell, Germany . This victory has also given Shimizu the seasonal title in the 500 meter race. Shimizu is the 500 meter overall champion for the 3rd time. Manabu Horii clinched the season's title in the 1000 meter race for the first time by winning the 1000 meter race on the same day.

1997 World Speed Skating Championships
Top speed skaters took part in the championship race held at the site for the Nagano Olympics from Feb.14 to 16. Japan's Keiji Shirahata came in second in the over all standing for men. This is Shirahata's 3rd medal in the championships. He is training under Akira Kuroiwa who was one of Japan's best known skaters in the early 80s. The top title went to Gunda Niemann of Germany for women, and Ids Postma of the Netherlands for men. The real focus of this event was on the so-called clap skates developed in Holland. The blades remain on the ice even when the skater tilts their foot forward to turn the corner of the skating track. The top 3 women in events other than the 500 meter race wore those skates and the winners in the men's long distance events did so too. Japan has not even tried those skates.

Japan's winning streak in the World Cup
Japan has been winning first place in the men's 500 meter race from the very beginning of the '96-'97 winter season. But in the World Cup event in Wisconsin USA on Jan.11, the best finish was 3rd by Manabu Horii. World record holder Hiroyasu Shimizu was unable to compete due to a neck pain.

1995 to 1996 season
World Records by Japanese skaters
A wonder occurred! Three of Japan's male speedskaters broke world records in the final World Cup series held in Calgary, Canada on March 1 to 3 1996. Manabu Horii marked 1 minute 11.67 second in the 1000 meter race. Hiroyuki Noake finished at 1 minute 50.61 seconds in the 1500 meter race. And Hiroyasu Shimizu broke the record for the 500 meter at 35.39 seconds.


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