Olympic team pursuit bronze medalist Brittany Bowe notched her first speed skating World Cup win since suffering a concussion in a July 2016 training collision with a teammate.
Bowe won the 1500m at the season-opening World Cup in Obihiro, Japan, in 1:55.03. edging Olympic silver medalist Miho Takagi of Japan by .09 on Saturday. Olympic gold medalist Ireen Wuest of the Netherlands was fourth.
Bowe, 30, won the 2015 World title in the 1500m and the World Cup season title in the distance in 2016.
She looked primed for individual success at the PyeongChang Winter Games early in that Olympic cycle. But the concussion affected her for the entire 2016-17 season, including blood-pressure issues and fainting spells.
She returned in full last season but did not make an individual podium between the World Cups and the Olympics, missing a 1000m medal in PyeongChang by .38 and in the 1500m by .28.
But Bowe was part of a U.S. team pursuit squad that took third in South Korea, the first U.S. women’s speed skating medal since the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
Bowe and Heather Bergsma were dominant skaters in the last Olympic cycle. Bergsma, also a team pursuit bronze medalist, is taking at least a two-year break from the sport after having baby Brent last month.
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