- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (AP) - Martina Sablikova beat defending champion Ireen Wust to take the women’s 3,000 meters, and Jorrit Bergsma extended his reign as 10,000-meter champ on the first day of the speedskating single distance world championships on Thursday.

Czech skater Sablikova went head-to-head with her longtime Dutch rival and Olympic champion in the last pairing, and beat her by more than a second, conserving her energy to power away in the final lap. Wust’s teammate, Marije Joling, finished third at the Thialf oval.

“I’ve won a lot in my career so only titles count. I’ve lost the gold,” Wust said. “I started too fast.”

In the 10,000, Olympic champion Bergsma cruised to victory in the absence of Sven Kramer, who did not compete in the longest men’s distance.

Erik Jan Kooiman of the Netherlands was second, nearly eight seconds slower than Bergsma, and Patrick Beckert of Germany finished third.

“I started well and built up a good lead,” Bergsma said. “In the end it got tough, but I had enough left.”

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