- Associated Press - Sunday, November 18, 2018

OBIHIRO, Japan (AP) - Russia’s Pavel Kulizhnikov won the men’s 1,000-meter race on Sunday at the season-opening speed skating World Cup event in Japan.

Kulizhnikov clocked 1 minute, 7.85 seconds to finish 0.54 seconds ahead of Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands. Thomas Krol, also of the Netherlands, took the bronze with a time of 1:08.62.

Krol’s compatriot Patrick Roest won the men’s 5,000 meters and the Netherlands also claimed top honors in the team sprint event.

Austrian Vanessa Herzog won the women’s 1,000 meters race with a time of 1:14.56, edging local favorites Nao Kodaira and Miho Takagi.

Esmee Visser of the Netherlands clinched her career first World Cup victory in the women’s 3000 meters with a time of 4:04.60. Russia’s Natalya Voronina took the silver while Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic won the bronze. Russia took home the women’s team sprint gold.

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