ISU World Cup Speed Skating 2014/15 - Obihiro (JPN)
Marrit Leenstra (NED) grabs first 1000m Word Cup win
With two 1500 World Cup victories from previous seasons already to her name, Leenstra took the ice against Olga Fatkulina (RUS) in the penultimate pair of the 1000m on Saturday. Qishi Li (CHN) had set the best time so far (1:16.54) in the first pair. Leenstra skated 1:16.23 to break the track record (1:16.45), which was set by Heather Richardson (USA) in 2010. Richardson and her compatriot Brittany Bowe are not present at the World Cup races in Obihiro.
In the final pair Ireen Wüst (NED) managed to beat the previous track record as well, but she came 0.11 short to beat Leenstra and had to settle for the silver medal. Qishi Li took the bronze. Olympic Champion Hong Zhang (CHN) skated a disappointing 1:16.78 and ended up fourth.
Vanessa Bittner (AUT), who already impressed in the 500m B-division on Friday, again showed to be too strong for the B-division in the double distance. With her telling 1:16.77 she would have ended up fourth in the A-division.
Dutch dominance of Men's Team Pursuit continues
Sven Kramer, Wouter Olde Heuvel and Douwe de Vries (NED) grabbed the tenth consecutive Dutch Team Pursuit World Cup win on Saturday. De Vries raced as a substitute for Koen Verweij, who suffered from pain in the neck after his 1000m race.
Beating Poland in the last race, the Dutch set a superior 3:43.68 to keep the rest of the field at bay. The Polish men settled for fourth place in 3:48.66. Lee Seung-hoon's Korea took the silver medal in 3:47.15. Aleksandr Rumyantsev, Danila Semerikov and Danil Sinitsyn took the bronze medal for Russia in 3:48.22.
Dutch Ladies follow men's example in Team Pursuit
Like their male compatriots the Dutch Ladies dominated the Team Pursuit. Ireen Wüst, Marrit Leenstra en Marije Joling set a new track record in 3:02.54, more than two seconds faster than Japan's Nana Takagi, Ayaka Kikuchi and Maki Tabata (3:04.78), who took the silver medal.
Germany's Claudia Pechstein, Bente Kraus and Gabriele Hirschbichler took the bronze in 3.06,51. Olympic bronze medallist Russia set a disappointing 3:08.56 to end up sixth.