Two-time Olympian Joey Mantia (Ocala, Fla.) came out of nowhere to win gold and a world title in the Men’s Mass Start at the 2019 World Single Distance Championships in Inzell, Germany. Taking advantage of falls and openings in the pack-style race, Mantia skated to the outside lane to finish in first place with a time of 7:35.66.
“I thought I’d just relax and not use any energy to make my moves and put myself in a good position,” said Mantia. “With three to go, I thought I could make a move. Things were looking good . . .I decided to go into the last turn wide and took advantage of it.”
This is Mantia’s second Mass Start title after winning the event at the 2017 World Single Distance Championships. Earlier in the day, Mantia finished his 1500m in eighth place, with a time of 1:45.24.
Olympic medalist Brittany Bowe (Ocala, Fla.) also reached the podium for the second day in a row in today’s 1500m as she raced to a bronze medal finish with a time of 1:53.36. Ireen Wust (NED) set a track record in her gold medal race, crossing the line at 1:52.81. This is Bowe’s ninth medal overall at the World Single Distance Championships.
“Wust’s time was going to be a tough time to beat," Bowe said. "In Salt Lake, that would have been a world record. I knew I had to go for it and go a little harder than what I had been. I definitely left it all out there on the track. Second, third and fourth were pretty close, so I’m happy to be on the podium today.”
Olympic medalist Mia Kilburg (Crestview, Fla.) and teammate Kimi Goetz raced the Ladies Mass Start with Kilburg finishing the event in eighth (8:30.32) and Goetz finishing 18th (8:36.46).
With Bowe’s gold medal in yesterday’s 1000m, Team USA leaves the world championships with three medals. Bowe, Mantia, Goetz and Brianna Bocox (Cheyenne, Wyo.) will compete at the World Sprint Championships in Heerenveen, NED, Feb 23-24.
“[Wust] definitely had an extra set of wings carrying her today,” said Brittany Bowe.
“You train as hard as you can and try to put yourself in position to take advantage of whatever the race presents,” said Joey Mantia.
“I thought it was a good day,” said Joey Mantia. “I was a little disappointed coming out of the 1500m but I kept my head high going into the mass start.”