Shani Davis, Heather Richardson sweep again at U.S. Olympic Trials (video)

Shani Davis
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Shani Davis will get a chance to defend Olympic medals in two distances in Sochi. Heather Richardson has a shot at the podium in three individual races.

Davis won his second event at the U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials, while Richardson took her third in the 1500m at the Utah Olympic Oval on Tuesday. They both won the 1000m on Sunday. Richardson also won the 500m on Saturday.

The U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials conclude with the women’s 5000m and men’s 10,000m on New Year’s Day at 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN, 5 p.m.). The U.S. has one Olympic quota spot in each of those events.

Davis, the two-time reigning Olympic 1500m silver medalist, clocked 1 minute, 43.20 seconds and led three other men who had already qualified in other distances. Brian Hansen was second, a half-second behind, followed by Joey Mantia and Jonathan Kuck.

Davis’ shot at gold in the 1500m in Sochi is not quite as high as in the 1000m. Four World Cup 1500m races this season were won by four different men, including Davis and Mantia. Six different men won the six World Cup races last season. Hansen made four podiums over the last two seasons.

“Any medal at this level would mean a lot to me, preferably gold,” Davis said on NBCSN. “I go out there, I do the best I can. Hopefully, I’m the best man that given day.”

In the women’s race, Richardson prevailed in 1:54.19, a mild upset by .77 over Brittany Bowe.

“My legs are kind of tired,” Richardson said on NBCSN after her third event in four days, “so I really had to work.”

Bowe, reportedly sick after finishing Tuesday, also finished second to Richardson in the 500m and 1000m at trials.

Both will go to the Olympics in the 1500m, as will third-place Jilleanne Rookard, who also won the 3000m on Friday.

Richardson was the top U.S. finisher in the 2010 Olympic 1500m, taking 16th. Rookard was 24th. Richardson is better in the 500m and 1000m, while Rookard is better in the 3000m and 5000m.

Bowe has won two World Cup medals in four 1500m races this season, including a victory in Astana, Kazakhstan. Richardson and Bowe will battle Dutch skaters for 1500m medals in Sochi.

Here are the U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials results so far:

Men’s 500m (four Olympic quota spots)
1. Mitchell Whitmore
2. Tucker Fredricks
3. Brian Hansen
4. Shani Davis

Men’s 1000m (four Olympic quota spots)
1. Shani Davis
2. Brian Hansen
3. Joey Mantia
4. Jonathan Garcia

Men’s 1500m (four Olympic quota spots)
1. Shani Davis
2. Brian Hansen
3. Joey Mantia
4. Jonathan Kuck

Men’s 5000m (three Olympic quota spots)
1. Jonathan Kuck
2. Emery Lehman
3. Patrick Meek

Women’s 500m (four Olympic quota spots)
1. Heather Richardson
2. Brittany Bowe
3. Sugar Todd
4. Lauren Cholewinski

Women’s 1000m (four Olympic quota spots)
1. Heather Richardson
2. Brittany Bowe
3. Sugar Todd
4. Kelly Gunther

Women’s 1500m (three Olympic quota spots)
1. Heather Richardson
2. Brittany Bowe
3. Jilleanne Rookard

Women’s 3000m (two Olympic quota spots)
1. Jilleanne Rookard
2. Anna Ringsred

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