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Heather Bergsma Returns To 500-Meter Podium For First Time In 10 Months

By Craig Bohnert | Jan. 28, 2017, 11:20 a.m. (ET)

Heather Bergsma competes in the women's 500-meter at the ISU Speed Skating World Cup on Jan. 28, 2017 in Berlin.

Heather Bergsma picked up her first 500-meter world cup medal of the season by taking bronze Saturday in Berlin, but uncharacteristically missed the podium in the 1,500-meter for the first time this season.

Bergsma’s 500-meter time of 38.43 seconds was just 0.01 faster than Japan’s Maki Tsuji, the difference between bronze and fourth place. Tsuji’s teammate, Nao Kodaira, left the field behind with a winning time of 37.57, 0.71 seconds ahead of silver medalist Karolina Erbanova of the Czech Republic. Kodaira’s sixth win in as many outings gave her a 95-point advantage over Tsuji in the world cup standings, while Bergsma moved into ninth place with 279 points.

After opening the season with back-to-back 1,500-meter golds and picking up a silver last month in Heerenveen, Netherlands, Bergsma fell short of the podium in Berlin, finishing fifth with a time of 1:57.24, 1.39 seconds off the winning 1:55.85 by Ireen Wüst of the Netherlands. The win moved Wüst ahead of Bergsma and into second in the world cup standings with 350 points, 20 ahead of Bergsma and as many behind teammate Marrit Leenstra, who took silver Saturday with a 1:56.12. Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic claimed the bronze with a 1:56.36.

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The bronze is the 20 in the two-time Olympian’s world cup career and boosts her career count to 79 in world cup competition, counting 30 golds among the total.

In the men’s 1,000-meter, two-time Olympic champion Shani Davis was fourth, just four hundredths of a second off the podium. Dutch skater Kjeld Nuis won in 1:08.25, followed by teammate Kai Verbij in 1:08.84, Norway’s Haavard Lorentzen in 1:09.03 and Davis in 1:09.21.

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Heather Bergsma

Long Track Speedskating