Kamila Valieva finishes the quick program in first place forward of Thursday’s free skate medal occasion

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Japan's Ayano Sato and Miho Takagi react after their teammate Nana Takagi fell in the women's team pursuit final on February 15.
Japan’s Ayano Sato and Miho Takagi react after their teammate Nana Takagi fell within the girls’s staff pursuit ultimate on February 15. (Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Photos)

Athletes practice their complete careers for a shot at successful Olympic gold.

However for each second of glory for one athlete, there’s usually a second of misfortune for one more.

On Tuesday, Japan’s velocity skaters have been sadly on the receiving finish of heartbreak.

With Japan main Canada within the staff pursuit ultimate and seemingly on the right track to be topped Olympic champions, Nana Takagi received one in every of her blades caught within the ice on the ultimate nook, inflicting her to fall and crash into the obstacles.

“To be sincere, I used to be in a superb temper (earlier than the race),” Takagi mentioned. “I believed I’m going to finish my finest skate previously one and a half weeks, along with my sister (Miho).

“My thoughts hasn’t recovered from the autumn. It’s exhausting for me to assume or discuss it proper now.”

However regardless of that heartbreak, the Japanese skaters nonetheless embodied the Olympic spirit.

After the race, as a crestfallen Nana cried along with the observe, her teammate and sister Miho instantly went over to console her.

Japan's Nana Takagi is consoled by her teammates after falling during the women's team pursuit final on February 15.
Japan’s Nana Takagi is consoled by her teammates after falling through the girls’s staff pursuit ultimate on February 15. (The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP)

“I could not discover any phrases to inform her at that second,” Miho mentioned. “I simply wished to be near her and provides her a hug.

“On this occasion, to fall, we perceive the strain will likely be on. We can’t flip it round, we can’t change it. That’s irritating.

“You might really feel they shouldn’t be held accountable, however that skater who falls will really feel responsible. So I knew I had these combined emotions and that’s the reason I hugged my sister,” Miho mentioned.

We remorse a lot not taking gold.

“We did what we will. We made plans collectively on the right way to skate quicker (and) we have been assured in skating our greatest.

“Ending the race with a fall simply made it exhausting to guage our efficiency, however nonetheless I feel we raced our greatest.”

The third skater on the staff, Ayano Sato, mentioned she had “combined emotions of remorse and pleasure.”

“If we focus solely on the outcome, as we have been aiming for a gold medal, it’s simply disappointing. 

“[But] the time we spend collectively fascinated about the right way to ship our greatest efficiency, the right way to skate even quicker, this time itself is priceless to me.”

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