There were fast times and familiar faces on the World Cup podium on the notoriously speedy ice at the Utah Olympic Oval on Saturday.
Shani Davis won the 1000m in 1 minute, 6.88 seconds, the second fastest time in the world since Davis broke the world record four years ago.
It was his second gold medal of the weekend, the first coming Friday in the 1500m. Davis is a two-time Olympic champion in the 1000m and can become the first U.S. man to win three gold medals in one individual Winter Olympic event in Sochi. (So could Shaun White and Seth Wescott.)
“It’s nice to be in the money in the mix with everything and improving each weekend,” Davis told the Dutch outlet NOS.nl in a video interview. “It’s nice to know where I’m at now, so I know where I need to go later.
“That’s all I try to do is try to get better than what I was last year, and it looks like I’m a lot better than that now.”
Countryman Brian Hansen, 23, also added a second individual medal in Salt Lake City on Saturday. He finished third in the 1000m in 1:07.03, taking .61 of a second off his personal best and adding to his second-place finish in the 1500m on Friday.
“I’ve seen Brian Hansen since he was developing when he was young,” Davis said in the Dutch TV interview. “He’s hungry, and he’s ambitious. The sky’s the limit for that guy.”
Davis and Hansen won their third medals of the weekend in the final skate Saturday in the team pursuit. The U.S. took second in 3:37.22, the first time Davis raced a World Cup team pursuit since March 2012.
The Netherlands won the team pursuit in 3:35.60, destroying their week-old world record of 3:37.17.
The second women’s 500m of the weekend featured plenty of excitement and a world record, too.
South Korea’s Lee Sang-Hwa broke her own world record for the third straight race, clocking 36.36. She went 36.57 on Friday.
Heather Richardson finished second, breaking her American record (36.90) and improving on her third place in the first 500m on Friday.
The other top American, Brittany Bowe, finished eighth (37.36) in Saturday’s 500m, but both had plenty of skating left for the 1500m, where Bowe finished second and Richardson third.
Bowe set a national record with a 1:52.45, her first career World Cup medal in the distance. Richardson topped her personal best with 1:52.55.
The Netherlands’ Ireen Wuest, who is the reigning Olympic champion in the 1500m, won in 1:52.08, the fastest time since 2005, when Canada’s Cindy Klassen clocked 1:51.79.
Races conclude Sunday.
Salt Lake City World Cup — Day 2
Women’s 500m — Race 2
1. Lee Sang-Hwa (KOR) 36.36 WR
2. Heather Richardson (USA) 36.90
3. Olga Fatkulina (RUS) 37.13
9. Brittany Bowe (USA) 37.36
13. Lauren Cholewinski (USA) 37.62
21. Elli Ochowicz (USA) 38.52
1. Shani Davis (USA) 1:06.88
2. Kjeld Nuis (NED) 1:07.02
3. Brian Hansen (USA) 1:07.03
6. Mitchell Whitmore (USA) 1:07.52
17. Trevor Marsicano (USA) DQ
1. Ireen Wuest (NED) 1:52.08
2. Brittany Bowe (USA) 1:52.45
3. Heather Richardson (USA) 1:52.55
Men’s Team Pursuit
1. Netherlands 3:35.60 WR
2. USA 3:37.22
3. South Korea 3:37.51