Brittany Bowe wrapped up a big weekend of competition at the ISU World Sprint Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands, with a win in one race and an overall bronze-medal finish.
The world sprint championships features four races over two days. Both men and women compete in the 500-meter and 1,000-meter on Saturday and then both distances again on Sunday. The skater with the lowest total combined time of the four races is crowned the champion.
Bowe, a two-time Olympian, started off with a fifth-place finish in the first 500 race before winning the 1,000 on Saturday. After a second-place finish in the 500 on Sunday, she entered the last race of the competition in third place behind Nao Kodaira and Miho Takagi, both of Japan.
Bowe, who two weeks ago won the ISU World Single Distances Championships in the 1,000, couldn’t match Saturday’s victory at the distance. She was first with only Kodaira and Takago left to go, but ended up in second place just .08 seconds behind Takagi.
Kodaira claimed the overall world sprint title with wins in both 500-meter races and a total time of 149.665. Takagi was second with a total time of 150.050, just barely beating Bowe’s total of 150.180.
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Bowe won the gold at both the 2015 and 2016 world sprint championships and was second in 2018. She becomes just the fifth American woman to win four world sprint championship medals, alongside speedskating greats Leah Poulos-Mueller (five world sprint medals, three Olympic medals), Bonnie Blair (nine world sprint medals, six Olympic medals), Christine Witty (four world sprint medals, three Olympic medals) and Heather Bergsma (five world sprint medals, one Olympic medal).
With only the world cup final remaining March 9-10 in Kearns, Utah, Bowe has won 12 world cup medals this season and leads both the 1,000 and 1,500-meter rankings.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.