Joey Mantia maintained his world cup season lead in the 1,500-meter after winning bronze Sunday in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Mantia earned his spot on the podium with a time of 1:46.54, 1.04 seconds behind winner Denis Yuskov of Russia, while Japan’s Shota Nakamura claimed the silver medal, 0.3 seconds ahead of Mantia.
Mantia assumed the lead after winning gold Nov. 20 in Nagano, Japan. He now has 220 points after three races. Yuskov’s win Sunday moved him into second behind Mantia, while Sven Kramer of the Netherlands sits third with 145 points. Four-time Olympic medalist Shani Davis, twice the Olympic silver medalist at the distance, placed 10th Sunday, giving him 134 points, good for fifth overall, four behind Nakamura.
After sweeping gold in the women’s 1,000- and 1,500-meter at the first two races, Heather Bergsma elected not to compete in Astana in order to focus on next week’s competition in Heerenveen, Netherlands. The decision allowed Japan’s Miho Takagi to record a 1,000/1,500 sweep of her own in Astana, moving her to the top of the 1,000-meter standings with 230 points, 30 ahead of Bergsma, and into a tie for second with Bergsma in the 1,500. Both have 200 points, 30 behind Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands.