Defending champions retain ISU World Sprint Championship titles

 

American Brittany Bowe won both races on the second and final day of the International Skating Union (ISU) World Sprint Championships to successfully defend her title in Seoul as Russia’s reigning men’s champion Pavel Kulizhnikov also reclaimed his crown.

Bowe, the 28-year-old winner from Astana a year ago, was only third at the halfway point after a fifth place finish in the 500 metres and a third in the 1,000m yesterday.

She was in much better form today, however, as she clocked 34.63sec to win the second 500m at the Taereung International Skating Rink before 1min 15.28sec was enough for 1,000m success.

That propelled her to the top of the leaderboard with 151.595 points as overnight pace-setter Heather Richardson-Bergsma slipped into second by coming third in both races.

The American finished behind her compatriot with a final total of 151.945 points, with the lower the score the better.

Dutch skater Jorien ter Mors, a double Olympic champion, was second after yesterday’s action thanks to her victory in the 1,000m.

She was second over that distance today but was only eighth over 500m which saw her come third overall on 152.340.

“I was unfortunate to be challenged with a little illness this week, but each day has gotten a little bit better, significantly from yesterday to today,” said Bowe, the first woman to achieve consecutive titles since Germany’s Monique Garbrecht won three in a row between 1999 and 2001.

In the men’s competition, Russian Kulizhnikov stayed in front after claiming pole position yesterday as he won the 500m and came second in the 1,000m.

This was the same result that he achieved on day one with his 500m time of 34.63 today swifter than his opening success.

Over 1,000m his time of 1:09.09 was beaten by The Netherlands’ Kjeld Nuis, also the winner over the distance yesterday, who clocked 1:09.09.

Nuis’ 14th and 16th place finishes over 500m cost him any chance of overall glory as he was second in the final standings, with 139.995 points behind the 21-year-old Russian’s 139.245.

Another Dutch skater, Kai Verbij, did enough for third.

“It was hard to recharge and prepare myself again,” said Kulizhnikov, the winner of two titles at the World Single Distances Championships this month.

“It was a psychological battle with myself, not with others, because at this moment there are no people who can beat me if I reach the finish.”

  • By Dan Palmer republished with permission insidethegames.biz
 

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