Heather Richardson took Olympic teammate Brittany Bowe‘s name off the world record books for the second straight Saturday, breaking Bowe’s mark in the 1500m in Kearns, Utah.
Richardson won a World Cup race at the 2002 Olympic venue in 1 minute, 50.85 seconds, taking .74 off Bowe’s world record set Sunday in Calgary (Dutch broadcast video here).
Bowe, skating in the same pair, also came in under her own world record (1:51.31).
Richardson’s time was .44 faster than the time Norwegian legend Johann Olav Koss skated to win the men’s 1500m at the Lillehammer 1994 Olympics, then a world record before the clap-skate era.
Last Saturday, Bowe broke the 1000m world record and Richardson reset it about three minutes later.
“I think we feed off each other,” Richardson said, according to US Speedskating. “I know last weekend I fueled her fire after taking the record in the 1000m, then she went and did the 1500m, so I’m sure tomorrow she’s going to bring her A game [in the 1000m at Kearns].”
Now, Richardson owns the women’s 1000m and 1500m world records, while another U.S. Olympian, Shani Davis, owns the men’s 1000m and 1500m world records from 2009.
In the last two weekends, world records have been broken in four of the 10 individual Olympic speed skating events. In three of those four, the world record has been broken multiple times.
The races have all been at Calgary and Kearns, the fastest venues in the world. World Cup races are held in Calgary and Kearns annually, which makes this year’s bevy of records quite extraordinary but also means no more records should be set the rest of this season.
The record flurry included one in the grueling men’s 10,000m earlier Saturday, when Dutch-born Canadian Ted-Jan Bloemen clocked 12:36.30, taking 5.39 seconds off Sven Kramer‘s mark from 2007.
Kramer’s time was the longest-standing Olympic event world record.
On Friday, Russian Pavel Kulizhnikov broke the men’s 500m world record for the second straight week, clocking 33.98 seconds in Kearns.