Japan confirm speed skating dominance in St. Moritz finale
ST. MORITZ – Japanese speed skater Arito Motonaga rounded off a spectacular five days by claiming his third medal of the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in the men’s mass start race.
Arito’s points tally of 30 earned him the gold medal ahead of Diego Amaya Martinez (COL) with Russia’s Pavel Taran taking bronze.
“In these Games my goal was many gold medals and I got it, so I’m very happy,” he said. “I am going to celebrate by getting some cheese fondue at the village. I am very excited.
“I am an Olympic fan now,” he added. “I will definitely be watching the Tokyo Olympics on the TV.”
In the women’s mass start, Yang Binyu (CHN) claimed her second medal at the St. Moritz Speed Skating Oval, adding gold to her third-place finish in the women’s 1500m.
“Today made up for winning bronze two days ago,” she said. “Gold is good. I don’t know how I’m going to celebrate. We have to stay here tomorrow and we have training.
“I was excited for the Olympic Games. There’s a lot of difference from racing inside. It was cold the first day in St. Moritz and when it was race time there was a big sun and it was warm.”
Yang finished ahead of Russia's Zuzana Kursova and Katia Filippi of Italy.
The mass start races completed the speed skating events in St. Moritz during which Japan featured heavily in the medal count.
In the men’s 500m, Yamamoto Yudai (JPN) took first place ahead of Spain’s Nil Llop Izquierdo and Xue Zhiwen of China.
In the women’s 500m, Japan had to settle for bronze as Yukino Yoshida came in behind first-placed Isabel Grevelt (NED) and silver medallist Wang Jingyi (CHN).
The Netherland’s second gold medal of Lausanne 2020 came in the 1500m from Myrthe de Boer, who finished ahead of Takahashi Yuka (JPN) and Yang Binyu.
Arito’s impressive medal haul started with gold in the men’s 1500m ahead of Taran and the USA’s Jonathan Tobon.
Japan also claimed medals in the mixed NOC team sprint. Yoshida made up part of the gold-winning Team 3, while Arito played his part for silver medallists Team 16.
“When you’re skating behind [Arito] you look at his technique and think, ‘Wow, he’s really good,’” said Team 16 racer, Theo Collins (GBR).
“It’s quite nice to skate with people of such a high level.”
It is now the turn of the short track events at Lausanne 2020, which start on Saturday at the Lausanne Skating Arena.
By Olympic Information Service