- Associated Press - Saturday, March 15, 2014

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (AP) - Denis Yuskov of Russia won the men’s 1,500 meters at the speedskating World Cup finals and Koen Verweij of the Netherlands came second to take the season-long discipline title on Saturday.

Verweij had to settle for silver in the event at the Sochi Olympics, missing the gold-winning time of Zbigniew Brodka by just three-thousandths of a second.

Brodka finished third in Saturday’s race, just over a quarter of a second behind Yuskov’s winning time of 1 minute, 45.55 seconds.

Shani Davis, hoping to add a 1,500 World Cup title to the 1,000 crown he won on Friday, finished fifth to end third in the season rankings behind Verweij and Yuskov.

Mark Tuitert, the 2010 Olympic champion, was fourth in the last race of his career, smiling broadly and punching the air as he crossed the finish line for the final time.

In the day’s first race, Annouck van der Weijden of the Netherlands won the women’s 3,000, claiming her first speedskating World Cup as Olympic champion Ireen Wust skipped the event to save strength for next weekend’s allround world championships.

Racing in the first pairing, Van der Weijden finished in a personal best 4:02.22, nearly a second and a half ahead of Yvonne Nauta. Olga Graf of Russia was third.

Van der Weijden said “it feels great to finally win something.”

Olympic silver medalist Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic was fourth, but won the season World Cup title over the distance.

Wust, who won two gold medals and three silvers in Sochi, won the 1,500 on Friday.

The Olympic champion Dutch men, with a very different lineup to the one that won gold in Sochi, won the team pursuit, completing a perfect World Cup season in which they won all four races.

Jan Blokhuijsen was the only member of the Olympic champion team to skate in Saturday’s race. He was joined by Christijn Groeneveld and Douwe de Vries.

Poland was second and Norway third. The United States was slowest of the four teams, a huge 11.54 seconds behind the Netherlands, but finished second in the season standings.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide