Nana Takagi’s Path to the Olympic Triumph
Japanese speed skater Nana Takagi became 2-time gold medalist at 2018 Winter Olympics and it’s definitely her most memorable achievement. However, the athlete shows good results at other competitions as well. That’s why, let’s find out a bit more about her achievements.
Personal Information and Career Start
Nana Takagi was born on July 2, 1992, in Makubetsu, Japan. She is the elder sister of another Japanese speed skater, Miho Takagi. Nana started to do speed skating in the second year of primary school, being encouraged by her older brother.
At the junior level, Takagi won 2 silver medals in team pursuit events at the World Junior Speed Skating Championships. In 2012, 2014 and 2015, she got an Excellent Athlete Award by the Japan Skating Federation. In 2014, she received an Excellence Award by the Japanese Olympic Committee.
World Cup and World Championships
Nana Takagi made her World Cup debut in 2013. In 2013/14 season, she gained her first medal, bronze in team pursuit. The first victory in team pursuit happened in 2016/17 season. In total, at the World Cup events, the speed skater won 9 gold medals (all in team pursuit), 6 silver medals and 3 bronze medals in team pursuit and mass start.
In 2015, the athlete won a gold medal in team pursuit at the World Single Distances Championships. Nana and her teammates, Ayaka Kikuchi and Miho Takagi, became the first female Japanese speed skaters to win gold in team pursuit at the World Single Distances Championships. In 2016, she was a silver medalist in team pursuit. At 2017 World Championships, she earned silver medals in mass start and team pursuit.
Winter Olympic Games
In 2014 Sochi, Nana Takagi made an Olympic debut. She finished 4th in team pursuit and 32nd in 1500 m.
2018 Winter Olympics were more successful for the athlete as she claimed a gold medal in mass start, finishing in 8:32.87. Moreover, she became a gold medalist in team pursuit together with Ayano Sato and Miho Takagi, finishing the race in 2:53.89 and setting the track and Olympic record. In 5000 m race, she was 12th.
Takagi, who became the first female Japanese speed skater to win 2 gold medals at the single Olympic Games, said after her mass start victory: “I only lost focus on two laps. Then I showed good acceleration. I'm very happy today. I focus on team pursuit and mass start, and I got two gold medals. That's unbelievable”.
Here are the personal records of the speed skater:
500 m – 38.8 (8 March 2013, Calgary)
1000 m – 1:16.03 (22 September 2013, Calgary)
1500 m – 1:55.25 (16 November 2013, Salt Lake City)
3000 m – 4:03.25 (10 December 2017, Salt Lake City)
5000 m – 7:08.77 (19 November 2017, Stavanger)
Though Nana Takagi is great in team events, the athlete has recently started to show good results in individual disciplines and we hope that this tendency will go on. She is a very talented athlete and, definitely, deserves much more medals and titles.