Heather Bergsma added yet another gold medal to her extensive collection by winning the women’s 1,000-meter and Joey Mantia led the U.S. men to an impressive showing in the same event Saturday at the long track speedskating world cup in Nagano, Japan.
Bergsma’s win in Japan comes just one week after she opened the world cup season in Harbin, China, with victories in the 1,000- and 1,500-meter, setting a track record in the latter.
The two-time Olympian recorded a time of 1:14.81, 0.37 seconds ahead of Japan’s Nao Kodaira, whose 1:15.18 was 0.14 faster than her teammate, Niho Takago. It marks the 16th world cup gold medal for Bergsma at 1,000 meters and her 30th medal overall in the event.
Mantia, a 2014 Olympian, also enjoyed a strong showing Saturday, posting the second-fastest time in the semifinals of the men’s mass start. His time of 7:48.00 was only 0.28 seconds off the pace of 7:47.72 set by Belgian Bart Swings, who competed in the same semifinal. Four-time Olympian KC Boutiette placed seventh in his mass start semifinal with a time of 8:08.74.
Mantia returned to the ice to lead a solid showing by the American men in the 1,000-meter. His 1:08.92 put him in fourth and was just 0.46 behind winner Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands and only 0.12 seconds away from a podium finish. In an impressive team showing, the Team USA claimed four of the top 12 finishes: two-time Olympian Mitch Whitmore was eighth in 1:09.42, while four-time Olympian and two-time Olympic champion Shani Davis placed 11th with a time of 1:09.63. Jonathan Garcia, also a member of the 2014 Olympic team, finished 12th in 1:09.73.
The meet concludes Sunday with the men’s and women’s 500-meter, men’s and women’s 1,500-meter and the mass start finals.