U.S. Olympians Brittany Bowe and Heather Richardson won gold and silver in the 1000m at the World Single Distance Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands, on Friday.
Bowe, who skated a track record 1:13.9, captured the first World Championship by a U.S. woman since Chris Witty prevailed in the same distance in 1998.
Richardson was second in 1:14.49, followed by Czech Karolina Erbanova. (full results here)
Bowe’s victory was an upset, given Richardson had relegated her to second place in two World Cup 1000m races on the same ice in December and last week.
“Since the beginning of the year my goal has been World Single Distance Championships gold medal in the 1000m,” Bowe told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “Last week was just a stepping stone.”
Richardson and Bowe were seventh and eighth at the Sochi Olympics in the 1000m as the entire U.S. long-track team struggled, winning zero medals. They entered the Winter Games as medal contenders.
Later, four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Shani Davis finished fourth in the 1500m (full results here), matching his lowest result in the event in eight appearances. Davis won a medal in the World Championships 1500m in six of his previous seven tries.
The World Championships continue through the weekend. Bowe and Richardson could win more medals in the 500m and 1500m.