Kuck Leads Team USA with Bronze in 5000m at World Cup Final
BERLIN, Germany (March 10 , 2012) - Jonathan Kuck (Champaign, Ill.) skated to a bronze medal victory in today’s 5000m distance at the Essent ISU World Cup Finals in Berlin, Germany. Posting a time of 6:19.98, Kuck finished 5.29 seconds back from Sven Kramer (NED) in 1st with 6:14.69. Bob de Jong took 2nd with 6:17.83 and won the overall 5000m World Cup title. The Dutch swept the overall podium, with Kramer finishing 2nd, and Jorrit Bergsma taking 3rd. Kuck caps the season with a 7th overall at the 5000m distance.
"Today was the best 5k of the season for me, and and I'm feeling confident about my next races," said Kuck.
"It was great to see Jonathan attack his race from the gun, and it was even greater to see the satisfied expression on his face after the race," said U.S. Speedskating Coach Kip Carpenter.
In the second men’s 500m distance of the weekend, Tucker Fredricks (Janesville, WI) skated a 35.27 for an 8th place finish. Fredricks was .26 seconds behind Michel Mulder (NED), winning today’s race with a time of 35.01. Tae-Bum Mo (KOR) took 2nd with 35.04, and Jan Smeekens (NED) finished 3rd with 35.08.
Mo won the overall 500m World Cup title, followed by Pekka Koskela (FIN) in 2nd, and Fredricks in 3rd. Fredricks had been leading the overall standings entering this weekend’s competition, but following two challenging races in the 500m, finished just 56 points back from the overall spot.
“That one really hurt my feelings, but I'm already refocusing on the World Single Distance Championships," said Fredricks following today’s race.
"Although he improved from yesterday, it was a tough way to lose the overall title,” said U.S. Sprint Team Head Coach Ryan Shimabukuro. “And even though he was able to hold onto third place overall, this will only motivate him more to be at his best at the World Single Distance Championships."
Heather Richardson (High Point, N.C.) skated a 38.54 for 8th place in today’s ladies 500m, and Brittany Bowe (Ocala, FL) posted a 39.19 for 21st place. Jing Yu (CHN) won today’s race with a time of 37.63, followed by Sang-Hwa Lee (KOR) in 2nd with 37.66, and Christine Nesbitt (CAN) in 3rd with a time of 38.17.
"The girls improved today, but will need to sharpen up a little more for tomorrow's 1000m," added Shimabukuro.
Yu captured the overall 500m season title, Lee was 2nd and Jenny Wolf (GER) finished 3rd. Richardson ends the World Cup season with a 9th place overall, and Bowe claimed the 20th spot overall.
Extended results from today’s races in Berlin are available here. Races conclude tomorrow with the ladies and men’s 1000m, Mass Start and Team Pursuit.
Racing will be webcast live from Berlin beginning at 5:30am (MST) athttp://livemanager.eurovision.edgesuite.net/isu/site/index.html