Shani Davis

Shani Davis’ gold headlines big day for U.S. speed skating

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Shani Davis showed he’s still king of the 1000m on Saturday.  

Davis, who won Olympic gold in the 1000m in 2006 and 2010, took first place in the distance in 1 minute, 7.46 seconds at the opening World Cup event of the speed skating season in Calgary, Alberta.  

It was Davis’ second medal of the weekend after a silver in the 1500m Friday.  

The Netherlands’ Kjeld Nuis placed second (1:07.57) after taking third in the 1500m on Friday. In a surprise, American Brian Hansen, who entered with one career World Cup medal in the 1000m, also made the podium, finishing third (1:07.64).

He wasn’t done there.

Hansen, along with Trevor Marsicano and Jonathan Kuck, earned silver for the U.S. in the team pursuit in 3:38.66. The powerhouse Netherlands took first in a world record (3:37.17), and South Korea finished third (3:40.53).

The Netherlands’ Lotte van Beek beat two Olympic champions in the women’s 1500m. Van Beek finished first in 1:52.95 with the Netherlands’ Ireen Wuest (1:53.30) placing second and the Czech Republic’s Martina Sablikova (1:54.44) third. Wuest and Sablikova both have won two Olympic gold medals, while van Beek made five World Cup podiums last season.

The second of the women’s 500m races looked a lot like the first, as the top three finishes were the same on both days. Once again, South Korean Lee Sang-hwa took first, this time in a world record 36.74.

German Jenny Wolf (37.18) finished second and China’s Wang Beixing (37.30) placed third.

The top American women speed skaters, Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe, both cracked the top 10 again, as they did Friday, with fifth- and 10th-place finishes, respectively.

Races continue Sunday with the second men’s 500m kicking the day off at 1 p.m. ET.

Women’s 500m (Race 2)
1.  Lee Sang-Hwa (KOR) 36.74
2.  Jenny Wolf (GER) 37.18
3.  Wang Beixing (CHN) 37.30
5.  Heather Richardson (USA) 37.44
10.  Brittany Bowe (USA) 37.74

Men’s 1000m
1.  Shani Davis (USA) 1:07.46
2.  Kjeld Nuis (NED) 1:07.57
3.  Brian Hansen (USA) 1:07.64

Women’s 1500m
1.  Lotte Van Beek (NED) 1:52.95
2.  Ireen Wuest (NED) 1:53.30
3.  Martina Sablikova (CZE) 1:54.44

Men’s Team Pursuit
1. Netherlands 3:37.17
2. United States 3:38.66
3. South Korea  3:40.53

World Cup speed skating season storylines

Justin Schoenefeld gets U.S.’ first men’s aerials World Cup win in 4 years

Justin Schoenefeld
U.S. Ski & Snowboard
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Justin Schoenefeld ended a four-year U.S. men’s aerials drought with his first World Cup win Saturday in Belarus.

Schoenfeld, 21, hit a double full-full-full in the super final to beat a field that included world champion Maxim Burov of Russia. Burov was fourth, one spot behind another American, Chris Lillis. Full results are here.

“I’m pretty speechless right now,” Schoenefeld said, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “I’m just shocked. It just all came so quick, all of a sudden the two finals were over, and I was on top of the podium. I probably landed two of my training jumps yesterday, but I managed to land all of my comp jumps down to my feet.”

Schoenefeld’s best previous World Cup finish was fourth, in Belarus last season.

Lillis earned the U.S.’ last World Cup men’s aerials victory on Feb. 20, 2016, also in Belarus. The four-year gap between wins marked the longest for the U.S. men since aerials was added as an Olympic medal sport in 1994.

Schoenefeld also became the first American of either gender to win a World Cup aerials event in two years, since Kiley McKinnon on Jan. 6, 2018. That gap was the longest for the U.S. since 2005.

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MORE: Olympic aerials champion retires to coach

Kaillie Humphries wins bobsled world title in first season for U.S.

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Two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries won a bobsled world title in her first season since switching allegiance from Canada to the U.S., ending recent German dominance.

Humphries, with brakewoman Lauren Gibbs, edged German junior world champ Kim Kalicki by .37 of a second combining times from four runs between Friday and Saturday in Altenberg, Germany.

“I love this track. It’s very challenging, one of the hardest in the world,” Humphries said, according to U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton. “It demands a lot of focus, a lot of respect every minute you’re on that track. So to be able to win here, I know the Germans and the spectators, everybody, have worked so hard and this week, no exceptions. I’m proud of all of the girls.”

Canadian Christine de Bruin took bronze for a second straight year. Full results are here.

Humphries, who married a former U.S. bobsledder, was released by Canada in September after filing verbal abuse and harassment claims against a coach, saying she no longer felt safe with the program. As a Canadian, Humphries won 2010 and 2014 Olympic titles, plus 2012 and 2013 World titles.

Humphries joined German Sandra Kiriasis as the only female drivers to win three world titles. She is already the only female driver with multiple Olympic titles.

German Mariama Jamanka, the reigning Olympic champion and defending world champion, finished fourth in Altenberg.

Triple U.S. Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor didn’t compete as she sits out the season due to pregnancy. Meyers Taylor and Gibbs teamed for silver in PyeongChang.

The world championships continue Sunday with the conclusion of the two-man competition. German Francesco Friedrich, eyeing his sixth straight world title, leads after the first two of four runs.

A full TV and live stream schedule is here.

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