Much of the 2015-2016 speedskating season saw Brittany Bowe and Heather Bergsma standing on the podium together, as the two earned a combined 35 medals between them. At the World Sprint Championships in Seoul, Korea, the pattern held firm, with Bowe claiming her second consecutive title and Bergsma finishing second.
This marks the second straight year that Bergsma and Bowe went 1-2 at the World Sprint Championships. No women from the same country have achieved this feat since 1985-1986.
Bowe became the third U.S. woman to win consecutive World Sprint Championships and is the first to do so since the legendary Bonnie Blair in 1994-1995. She is the first woman from any nation to win consecutive titles since Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt of Germany did so in 1999-2001.
The World Sprint Championships is an aggregate result of times from four races. Bowe finished fifth in the 500-meter and third in the 1,000-meter on the first day of competition to sit in third place overall going into the final races. Bergsma, with two second-place finishes, was the overall leader. Bowe closed out the competition with a pair of first-place finishes in the final two races to just edge out Bergsma for the championship with a total of 151.595 points. Bergsma earned two third-place finishes in the last two races to earn 151.945 points.
"I feel very fortunate to have defended my title this weekend here in Seoul,” Bowe told US Speedskating. “Skating one of my best 500-meter races of the year, I was able to take the lead and give myself a three-tenths cushion going into the final 1000 meters. I went into the last race focusing on strong, solid skating and knew if I executed a good race, I would win the title. I'm honored to hold this title for another year."
Sugar Todd rounded things out for the U.S. women, placing 19th. On the men’s side, Mitch Whitmore led the way in 12th place, followed by Shani Davis in 13th and Joey Mantia in 17th.