Brittany Bowe earned her second victory in the first three speed skating World Cup stops on Friday, again showing she returned to form from a July 2016 concussion.
Bowe, an Olympic team pursuit bronze medalist, won a 1000m in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland, in 1:15.399, beating Olympic bronze medalist Miho Takagi of Japan by 1.02 seconds. The event lacked Olympic champion Jorien ter Mors, who is out due to knee surgery.
Bowe won a 1500m at the season-opening World Cup three weeks ago, her first victory since suffering a concussion in a July 2016 training collision with a teammate. In 2015, Bowe swept the 1000m and 1500m at the world championships, then broke world records in both events that fall.
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.
Bowe was part of a 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, said she is taking at least a two-year break from the sport after having baby Brent in October.
Bowe now leads the World Cup standings in the 1000m and the 1500m. Her 19th individual World Cup win on Friday matched three-time Olympic medalist Chris Witty for fifth on the U.S. all-time list behind Bonnie Blair (69), Shani Davis (58), Dan Jansen (46) and Bergsma (34), according to schaatsstatistieken.nl.
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