One day after having her 1,000-meter world record stolen from her, Brittany Bowe raced the fastest 1,500-meter ever and broke the longest-standing world record in women’s long track speedskating.
Bowe’s time of 1:51.59 at the season-opening world cup on Sunday in Calgary, Alberta, was two tenths faster than the record held by Canadian Cindy Klassen, who skated 1:59.79 on Nov. 20, 2005.
It marks the first time a U.S. woman holds the 1,500-meter world record.
U.S. teammate Heather Richardson-Bergsma finished second in the 1,500-meter race in Calgary, in 1:52.27; Martina Sablikova of Czech Republic took the bronze in 1:54.18. Richardson-Bergsma set the 1,000-meter world record on Saturday, three minutes after Bowe broke her own world record, which she first set Nov. 17, 2013.
"Falling just short of the gold and world record in the 1,000-meter definitely put some extra motivation in my body," Bowe said. "I channeled a lot of that energy into good skating, good race tactics, and I knew I had to skate perfect to end up on top. To be able to get that world record is quite an honor.”
The Calgary world cup is the second time two U.S. women set world records in two speedskating distances in the same weekend. On March 13, 1976, Sheila Young broke the 500-meter world record and Nancy Swider the 3,000-meter record. Bowe’s times also mark the second time a single U.S. woman skated world-record-setting times in multiple distances across one weekend. Anne Henning set 500- and 1,000-meter world records Jan. 7-8, 1972.
Also on Sunday, Richardson-Bergsma won bronze in the second 500-meter of the weekend in a scramble of the first 500-meter results. China’s Hong Zhang and South Korea’s Sang-Hwa Lee took gold and silver, while Bowe was fourth. On Friday, Bowe earned bronze when they Korean and Chinese skaters were first and second, and Richardson-Bergsma was fourth.
Richardson-Bergsma was fifth in the mass start, which will make its Olympic debut at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games.
Bowe and Richardson-Bergsma picked up where they left off last season, when they won a combined eight world championship medals and 30 world cup medals.
In men’s long track action, 2014 Olympian Joey Mantia earned bronze in the 1,500-meter for the second individual world cup medal of his career. Russian Denis Yuskov won the race in 1:41.88, while silver medalist Bart Swings of Belgium and Mantia both skated 1:42.48. Two-time Olympic 1,500-meter silver medalist Shani Davis was eighth.
Mantia and Davis just missed the podium in Saturday’s 1,000-meter, finishing fourth and fifth. Mantia later joined Mitch Whitmore and Jonathan Garcia to earn Team USA’s first-ever team sprint medal, a silver.
Whitmore, a two-time Olympian, finished fifth in the 500-meter on Sunday for his career-best individual world cup placement.
Four-time Olympian KC Boutiette, who retired in 2006 before returning to the sport last year, was 11th in the men’s mass start.