Heather Richardson

Heather Richardson, Brittany Bowe go 1-2 in Astana 1000m

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U.S. dominance in the 1000m was prevalent in Astana, Kazakhstan, this weekend.

Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe were the top two finishers Sunday, one day after Olympic champion Shani Davis took the men’s 1000m.

Richardson, the reigning World Cup champion in the distance, clocked a track record 1 minute, 14.22 seconds to grab her first medal on the final day of competition in the Kazakh capital. Bowe, who won the 1,500m on Saturday, came in .56 of  a second behind. Russian Olga Fatkulina, the reigning world champion, took third.

Richardson and Bowe have made the podium in all three World Cup 1,000m races this season. In Astana, they consolidated their results from fast North American ice in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Calgary, Alberta, in November. The conditions in Kazakhstan were closer to what’s expected at the Sochi Olympic oval.

Top Dutch skaters Ireen Wuest and Lotte van Beek sat out the Astana World Cup.

In other action Sunday, Japan’s Keiichiro Nagashima won the second men’s 500m race in 34.69 ahead of South Korean Olympic champion Mo Tae-Bum and Russian Artyom Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov had won the first 500m on Saturday.

American Tucker Fredricks finished sixth and fifth in the 500m races.

Dutch favorite Sven Kramer won the 10,000m.

The speed skating World Cup moves to Berlin later this week.

Astana Day 3

Women’s 1000m
1. Heather Richardson (USA) 1:14.22
2. Brittany Bowe (USA) 1:14.78
3. Olga Fatkulina (RUS) 1:15.18

Men’s 500m — Race 2
1. Keiichiro Nagashima (JPN) 34.69
2. Mo Tae-Bum (KOR) 34.87
3. Artyom Kuznetsov (RUS) 34.92
5. Tucker Fredricks (USA) 35.00
15. Mitchell Whitmore (USA) 35.33

Men’s 10,000m
1. Sven Kramer (NED) 13:02.38
2. Alexis Contin (FRA) 13:14.64
3. Patrick Beckert (GER) 13:18.73
6. Jonathan Kuck (USA) 13:23.54

Speed skating season storylines

Germans dominate women’s skeleton at world championships

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Germans Jacqueline Loelling and Tina Hermann went one-two at the skeleton world championships at home in Koenigssee on Saturday.

Loelling, 22, prevailed by one-quarter of a second after three runs over the 2016 World champion Hermann. Lizzy Yarnold, the Sochi Olympic champion from Great Britain, was .73 back for bronze.

“I didn’t expect to win, though I had perhaps hoped a little bit,” Loelling said, according to the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.

The top American was Kendall Wesenberg in 13th. Full results are here.

Loelling and Hermann, 24, represent the new generation of German sliders, both seeking to become the first Olympic skeleton champion from the sliding sports power.

Hermann swept the World Cup and world championships titles last season, and Loelling can clinch this season’s double at the World Cup finale at the 2018 Olympic track in three weeks.

Yarnold, who returned this season after a one-year break, said Saturday she had head and back issues and that she couldn’t walk three weeks ago.

The world bobsled and skeleton championships conclude with the final two runs of four-man bobsled and men’s skeleton on Sunday.

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MORE: Elana Meyers Taylor drives to second world bobsled title

Lindsey Vonn crashes out of World Cup super-G (video); out Sunday

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Lindsey Vonn crashed out of a World Cup super-G on Saturday, one day after refusing to start a race due to dangerous course conditions at the same venue.

Vonn fell trying to make a right turn about 17 seconds into her run, sliding into netting with her arms raised above her head in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Vonn came back last month after breaking her right upper arm in a Nov. 10 training crash, the latest in a career filled with injuries.

Vonn lay motionless for several seconds but soon after skied on her own to the bottom of the course. She “was visibly upset and appeared to be crying as she was comforted by teammate Julia Mancuso” in the finish area, according to The Associated Press.

In four super-Gs since her comeback, Vonn has finished ninth and 12th and failed to finish twice.

Slovenia’s world downhill champion Ilka Stuhec won the race by a half-second over Italian Elena Curtoni. Austrian Stephanie Venier was third.

Mikaela Shiffrin was 13th in her fifth career World Cup super-G start, 2.11 seconds behind Stuhec. Full results are here.

“I just didn’t quite handle the peely snow as well as I could have, and I was a bit conservative in sections that I didn’t want to be,” Shiffrin said, according to the U.S. Ski Team. “But I’m happy to get a run in on this hill.

“I feel really good on my skis. I didn’t feel like that run showed it. But I also felt like I had some reservations after seeing how it was [Friday], and I really wanted to ski the whole course and make it down and try to put a time in there. But I wasn’t totally sure how it was going to run. So having a run under my belt is really nice.”

Six of the first 18 racers failed to finish, including a crash by Italian Sofia Goggia, who ranks fourth in the World Cup overall standings. After 20 starters, the race was delayed for about five minutes to treat the deteriorating course, according to Eurosport.

Mancuso, who hasn’t raced since March 2015, was a forerunner for a second straight day.

On Friday, Vonn and Shiffrin criticized race officials (and refused to race) for allowing a super combined to take place on dangerous snow conditions, specifically the bottom pitch, U.S. head coach Paul Kristofic said.

Vonn then spent Friday afternoon throwing up due to possible food poisoning, according to her social media.

The women race another super combined in Crans-Montana on Sunday (4:30 a.m. ET, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).

Vonn is not entered, choosing to skip it due to the crash and her stomach ailment. She is expected to return for World Cup races next weekend at the 2018 Olympic venue.

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