Led by a 1-3 finish in the women’s 1,000-meter, the U.S. long track speedskating team earned a medal of each color Sunday to wrap up a productive world cup stop in Heerenveen, Netherlands. Team USA leaves Heerenveen with three golds, two silvers and two bronzes.
Heather Bergsma continued her winning ways in the 1,000-meter, taking her third gold medal in as many starts this season in a time of 1:14.60, 0.13 faster than Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands. Silver medalist in Saturday’s 1,500-meter, Bergsma now has won a total of 23 world cup medals in Heerenveen, including nine golds. The two-time Olympian reached the podium in both the 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter at all three world cups she has raced this season.
Olympic teammate Brittany Bowe returned to competition after a five-month recovery period for a concussion suffered in training, showing she is back in form by taking bronze with a time of 1:15.03. It is the 13th world cup medal Bowe has won in Heerenveen (six golds, six silvers, two bronzes).
"To have Heather [Bergsma] and Brittany [Bowe] back on the podium together again was like coming in from the cold and sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace," said national team sprint coach Matt Kooreman, according to US Speedskating. "Both of them continue to work hard on and off the ice, and it’s a great way to cap the first half of the world cup circuit."
Bergsma regained the series lead at that distance after conceding it to Miho Takagi when she sat out last weekend’s race in Astana, Kazakhstan. Takagi was fourth Sunday, collecting 60 points to push her total to 290, 10 behind Bergsma.
Four-time Olympic medalist Shani Davis earned silver in the men’s 1,000-meter for his best performance of the season and his first world cup medal at that distance since the 2013-14 season when he won four of six races and medaled at all six. His 1:08.57 was 0.36 seconds behind series leader Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands.
At 34 years and 121 days, Davis becomes the third-oldest world cup medalist in the 1,000-meter.
Davis improved to sixth in the 1,000-meter series standings with 169 points. Jonathan Garcia’s 1:09.01 was good for eighth, while Joey Mantia finished 15th in 1:09.58 and Mitch Whitmore was 18th, clocking in at 1:09.73. The silver is the 31st medal Davis has earned in Heerenveen since he won the 1,000-meter gold in March 2006, a collection highlighted by 20 golds.
The world cup series resumes Jan. 27-29 in Berlin, Germany.