Second tumble ends defending champion Nana Takagi’s Olympics

Defending champion Nana Takagi crashed out in the semifinal of the women’s mass start speedskating on Saturday, falling on the same corner where she slipped in the women’s team pursuit final earlier at the Beijing Olympics.

Takagi, who won the inaugural mass start competition in Pyeongchang four years ago, was leading the pack when she slipped on the very last corner with the finish line in sight.

The slip was reminiscent of her performance at the women’s team pursuit final, where a fall on the same corner landed the leading Japanese team a silver and handed the gold to their rivals from Canada.

The audience groaned as they saw her slip and Takagi looked distraught as she watched the pack speed away.

She picked herself up and skated to the finish line far behind the rest, just as she had in the team pursuit. The 29-year-old did not qualify for the final.

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