HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (March 25, 2012) – Team USA closed the Essent ISU 2012 Single Distance World Championships with a silver medal win in the Men’s Team Pursuit. Defending 2011 World Champions, the U.S. squad – comprised of Shani Davis (Chicago, Ill), Brian Hansen (Glenview, Ill), andJonathan Kuck (Champaign, Ill) – posted a 3:43.42 today, 1.99 seconds back from Team Netherlands (Kramer, Verweij, and Blokhuijsen) winning the title with a time of 3:41.43. Russia (Skobrev, Yuskov and Lalenkov) finished 3rd (3:43.62).
"It was great ending the year strong with a second place finish in the Team Pursuit," said Hansen following today’s race. "It was a nice way to finish the season with a medal winning performance," added Team USA Coach Kip Carpenter.
In the ladies Team Pursuit, the Dutch squad (Wust, Valkenburg, and de Vries) won the championship title with a time of 2:59.70, the first sub-3:00 time posted this season. Team Canada (Schussler, Nesbitt, Klassen) took silver with 3:00.51, and Poland (Czerwonka, Wozniak and Zlotkowska) won bronze with a time of 3:03.32. Team USA (Jilleanne Rookard (Woodhaven, MI), Heather Richardson (High Point, NC), and Maria Lamb (River Falls, WI) finished 8th (3:07.13).
Today’s 500m races had skaters competing in two races at the distance, with the combined times of both races determining the distance champion.
In the ladies 500m, Richardson placed 4th overall. Posting a 38.27 in her first 500m, Richardson finished 3rd despite breaking a spring on her right clap skate mechanism on the backstretch of the race. Richardson went on to skate a 38.22 in her second 500m for 4th place, ending the distance placing 4th overall.
"I was really happy with both my 500's and I was able to get a good opener, for me. And I was just able to skate well," said Richardson.
"She hit two very strong opener's today and capped off an amazing second half of the season with her best 500's in Thialf ever," added Team USA Sprint Head Coach Ryan Shimabukuro.
Sang-Hwa Lee (KOR) won the 500m championship, Jing Yu (CHN) took silver and Thijsje Oenema (NED) won bronze.
Wrapping her rookie season, Brittany Bowe (Ocala, FL) posted a 39.03 for 18th place her first 500m today, and a 38.85 to take 15th in her second 500m. Bowe finished the distance placing 16th overall.
Lauren Cholewinski (York, S.C.) skated to 24th place in both 500m events today - 39.88/500m(1), 39.72/500m(2) – and finished 24th in the 500m overall World Championships standings.
Tucker Fredricks (Janesville, WI) finished 5th overall in the men’s 500m (35.06/7th/ 500m(1) and 34.98/5th/500m(2). "I couldn't have ask for two better races today, considering what I've had to overcome since January,” said Fredricks, who is recovering from a back injury sustained prior to the World Sprint Championships. “I'm proud of myself and I was happy I was able to walk out of the rink with my head held high and a smile on my face."
"It's been a battle for him over this past week to get healthy, but he never gave up and gave it his best today. I'm proud of how he dug deep and stayed positive through these obstacles," added Shimabukuro.
Korea’s Tae-Bum Mo won the men’s 500m title, Michel Mulder (NED) took silver, and Pekka Koskela (FIN) won bronze.
Complete results from the 2012 Essent ISU World Single Distance Championships are available athttp://live.isuresults.eu/2011-2012/heerenveen-3/
Team USA now travels home to the U.S. for an extended break before returning to training for the 2012-13 season in May.
2012 Single Distance World Championship Medal Summary
Shani Davis - Bronze, 1000m
Jonathan Kuck – Bronze, 5000m (first career individual World Championship medal for Kuck)
Jonathan Kuck – Bronze, 10000m
Shani Davis, Brian Hansen, Jonathan Kuck – Silver, Team Pursuit