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Back On Top: Shani Davis Wins First Major Title In Four Years

By Associated Press | Feb. 14, 2015, 1:01 p.m. (ET)

Shani Davis celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's 1,000-meter at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships held at Thialf Ice Arena on Feb. 14, 2015 in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands -- American Shani Davis won his first major title in four years on Saturday, edging Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia by 0.04 seconds to win the 1,000 meters at the world championships.

Heather Richardson made it an even better day for the Americans, leading a U.S. one-two when she beat Brittany Bowe in the 500 meters.

The 32-year-old Davis peaked at the right time this season to win the fourth 1,000 title of his career, four years after his last one.

"I needed something to show me I still have what it takes," said Davis, who had a lackluster season and a disastrous Sochi Olympics one year ago. "I was crying I was so happy."

The two-time former Olympic 1,000 champion and world record-holder crossed in 1 minute, 8.57 seconds in the tight event. Local favorite Kjeld Nuis took bronze, 0.12 seconds behind the American.

Richardson and Bowe continued their duel for gold on the ice of the Thialf oval. On Friday, Bowe had beaten her compatriot over 1,000 but this time there was no stopping Richardson. The sprint specialist won both series of the 500, with Bowe taking second in each race. Overall, Nao Kodaira of Japan took bronze.

Sven Kramer continued his overwhelming domination of the 5,000 meters, winning his sixth world speed skating title by beating his Dutch archrival Jorrit Bergsma.

In the 1,000, American Shani Davis won his fourth world gold, edging Russia's Pavel Kulizhnikov.

Douwe de Vries made it a Dutch triple by taking bronze. It was the second gold medal for Kramer in as many days after he anchored the Netherlands to team gold late Friday.

The Olympic champion over the distance finished in 6 minutes, 9.65 seconds, the fastest time ever skated at sea level. Bergsma had the best intermediate time early on but Kramer used his massive long stride to make the difference over the final laps for a margin of 1.88 seconds.

Bergsma already won the 10,000 at the championships.

In the one major upset of the day, the Japanese women's pursuit team beat Olympic champion the Netherlands in a tight final. Russia took bronze.

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Shani Davis

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Heather Bergsma

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Brittany Bowe

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