Brittany Bowe broke the longest-standing Olympic speed skating event world record on Sunday, taking the 1500m crown at the season-opening World Cup in Calgary.
The U.S. Olympian clocked 1 minute, 51.59 seconds, beating the time set by Canadian Cindy Klassen on Nov. 20, 2005, by two tenths of a second.
“Cindy’s a legend, and she’s in a class of her own, so it’s quite an honor,” Bowe told Dutch broadcaster NOS of Klassen, the most decorated athlete at the Torino 2006 Olympics with five medals.
Bowe’s time is three tenths of a second slower than Norwegian legend Johann Olav Koss‘ winning time in the men’s 1500m at the Lillehammer 1994 Olympics, which was then a world record before the clap-skate era.
Bowe went under her own personal best by .86 of a second, one day after she rebroke her 1000m world record but saw countrywoman Heather Richardson take it away in the next pair.
“It was a tough second place yesterday … so I was really determined to get that back today,” Bowe told NOS.
Bowe, a 27-year-old former Florida Atlantic point guard, is the reigning World Sprint champion, which combines finishes in 500m and 1000m races on consecutive days.
She’s also the World champion in the individual 1000m and 1500m distances.
Those titles came one year after Bowe made her Olympic debut in Sochi with a best individual finish of eighth place as the whole U.S. speed skating team struggled.
Also Sunday, Russian Pavel Kulizhnikov won a men’s 500m in 34.00 seconds, breaking Canadian Jeremy Wotherspoon‘s world record of 34.03 set Nov. 9, 2007.
Full results from a weekend of competition in Calgary are here.
The World Cup speed skating season continues next week at another fast oval known for world-record times, the 2002 Olympic venue in Kearns, Utah.
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