U.S. speed skaters Joey Mantia, Emery Lehman and Casey Dawson broke the world record in the men’s team pursuit to close out a World Cup in Salt Lake City on Sunday.
The trio clocked 3:34.47 on the fast ice of the 2002 Olympic venue, where records are under threat due to the high altitude.
They took .21 of a second off the record set by a Dutch trio at the 2020 World Championships, also in Salt Lake City.
The Americans let Mantia lead all eight laps, with his teammates pushing him from start to finish. The result was a world record and a tired Mantia. The 35-year-old from Ocala, Florida, collapsed afterward on his back, his chest heaving.
“He’s really the leader,” Dawson said of Mantia. “Us two, we’re the engines in the back pushing him. That’s how we think about it. We’re just like a train going around the track.”
It’s a strategy the U.S. men have been employing for a couple years, although Mantia rarely practices with Lehman and Dawson.
It marked the first men’s world record registered by the U.S. since Shani Davis lowered the 1500m mark in December 2009.
Mantia and Lehman are both two-time Olympians. Dawson, 21, is a distance skater eyeing his first Olympics.
The U.S.’ last Olympic men’s speed skating medal came in the team pursuit in 2010 (a surprise silver).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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What a way to finish the Salt Lake City World Cup! It's a World record and gold 🏆 for host country United States 🇺🇸 in the Men's Team Pursuit!
— ISU Speed Skating (@ISU_Speed) December 5, 2021