WASHINGTON, March 10 (Xinhua) — Three-time Olympic gold medalist Martina Sablikova of Czech Republic drew a perfect conclusion to her 2018/19 season with a 3000m victory in a new world record time at the ISU World Cup Finals at Salt Lake City, United States on Saturday.
Sablikova, 31, set the new mark in three minutes 52.027 seconds in the Utah Olympic Oval after she broke Cindy Klassen’s 13-year-old world record at the ISU World Allround Championship in Calgary, Canada by 0.03 seconds last Sunday.
“I started faster than I ever skated before and I did not think I could keep it up. The final two laps were very hard, but I said to myself: ‘It’s the last two laps of the season.’ That’s how I managed to pull it off,” Sablikova said.
With the Finals victory, Sablikova concluded the season on top of the women’s 3000m/5000m World Cup overall standings. Esmee Visser of the Netherlands and Natalia Voronina of Russia finished second and third both in the race and in the standings respectively.
The women’s 1000m also witnessed a dramatic rewrite of the world record. Japan’s top speed skaters Miho Takagi and Nao Kodaira were paird together and both of their time beat Kodaira’s previous record, finishing in 1:11.713 and 1:11.766 respectively.
However, it was Brittany Bowe of the United States who claimed the title, as she sprinted across the finish line in 1:11.610, adding the world record to her name. Takagi and Kodaira had to settle for the runner-up and third place, and a silver and a bronze in the overall standings behind Bowe’s maiden World Cup gold.
The men’s races were dominated by the Dutch as two-time Olympic champion Kjeld Nuis won the 1000m title with a time of 1:06.183 and his compatriots Thomas Krol and Kai Verbij trailed by 0.07 and 0.16 seconds. The 5000m race saw world allround champion Patrick Roest seal a convincing victory in 6:03.706 and Marcel Bosker came second down by 5.19 seconds and Dutch-born Canadian Ted-Jan Bloemen settled for a third place 0.74 seconds further behind.
Nuis secured his men’s 1000m World Cup title this season with 342 points while Russia’s Alexander Rumyantsev won in the 5000m/1000m category.
The ISU World Cup Finals will come to an end on Sunday with men’s and women’s 500m, 1500m and mass start competitions concluding the 2018/19 season.