Dec 8, 2013, 12:51 PM EDT
American Heather Richardson and her fiance both won races on the final day of the World Cup speed skating stop in Berlin on Sunday.
Richardson, the world sprint champion, won the 1000m in 1 minute, 14.51 seconds, .91 better than U.S. teammate Brittany Bowe. Russian Olga Fatkulina was third.
Berlin marked the final World Cup before the Olympics, meaning it’s time to take stock of Olympic medal contenders. The U.S. Olympic Team Trials are in three weeks in Salt Lake City.
Richardson looks like the Olympic favorite in the 1000m, having won three of four World Cups this season. Her only loss came when Bowe set a world record in Salt Lake City on Nov. 17, edging Richardson by .03.
Bowe, the former college basketball player, has finished no lower than third in the four World Cup 1000m races. The U.S. has not won a women’s speed skating Olympic medal since 2002.
Richardson and Bowe came back for the day’s final event, the team pursuit, where the U.S. finished sixth. The Netherlands won.
Richardson’s fiance, Dutchman Jorrit Bergsma, won the 5000m on Sunday with superstar countryman Sven Kramer sitting out. Bergsma skated 6:14.82, beating another Netherlands skater, Jan Blokhuijsen, by .84. South Korean Lee Seung-Hoon was third.
The Olympic champion Kramer won the first two 5000m races of the season by more than two seconds and appears to be in form going toward Sochi.
South Korean Olympic champion Mo Tae-Bum won the second men’s 500m race of the Berlin World Cup by .002 over Japan’s Joji Kato. The Netherlands’ Michel Mulder was third.
The Olympic men’s 500m appears wide open. Eight men have won World Cup races this season, including American Tucker Fredricks, who was seventh on Sunday.
Berlin World Cup
Men’s 500m — Race 2
1. Mo Tae-Bum (KOR) 34.876
2. Joji Kato (JPN) 34.878
3. Michel Mulder (NED) 34.95
7. Tucker Fredricks (USA) 35.18
11. Mitchell Whitmore (USA) 35.25
1. Heather Richardson (USA) 1:14.51
2. Brittany Bowe (USA) 1:15.42
3. Olga Fatkulina (RUS) 1:15.49
1. Jorrit Bergsma (NED) 6:14.82
2. Jan Blokhuijsen (NED) 6:15.66
3. Lee Seung-Hoon (KOR) 6:16.12
8. Jonathan Kuck (USA) 6:20.24
Women’s Team Pursuit
1. Netherlands 2:58.19
2. Poland 3:01.18
3. South Korea 3:02.04
6. U.S. 3:03.02
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