Dec 29, 2013, 4:13 PM EDT
Shani Davis left no doubt in the 1000m Sunday, one day after a strange disqualification allowed him to qualify for the Olympics in the 500m.
Jonathan Garcia, whose personal best skate was wiped out because he didn’t wear ankle transponders Saturday, is also likely headed to the Sochi Olympics in the 1000m.
Davis won the 1000m at the U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials, clinching a berth in Sochi, where he could become the first American man to win a single Winter Olympic event three straight times. Davis took gold in the 1000m at the 2006 and 2010 Games.
Garcia was fourth in the 1000m, an event where the U.S. can send a maximum of four skaters to Sochi. His place on the U.S. Olympic Team is not yet assured, but he’s in a qualifying position. The full Olympic speed skating team is expected to be announced later this week.
Heather Richardson picked up her second win in as many days at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah, capturing the women’s 1000m ahead of Brittany Bowe. They also went one-two in the 500m on Saturday.
The U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials continue, after a day off, with the men’s and women’s 1500m on Tuesday. Davis, Richardson and Bowe are favorites in that distance, too.
Davis won the 1000m in 1 minute, 7.52 seconds. Brian Hansen was second in 1:07.53, followed by Joey Mantia (1:07.88) and Garcia (1:07.95).
Davis has won three of four World Cup 1000m races this season after taking third at the Sochi Olympic venue at the World Single Distance Championships on March 22. He and snowboarders Shaun White and Seth Wescott are vying to be the first American man to win a single Olympic event three times.
“I don’t allow it to weigh on me,” Davis said on NBC. “I simply want to go there, do my best. If I’m the best man that given day, I’ll be more than happy to take home a gold medal and add to my collection. If not, I tried my best, and that’s the best I can do.
“I think I’m skating pretty good. I think the best is still yet to come.”
On Saturday, Davis was fourth in the 500m but would have been outside of Olympic qualifying position if not for Garcia’s disqualification for not wearing ankle timing transponders.
Garcia, who would have originally been fourth, finished sixth in the 500m after his reskate. The U.S. can send a maximum of four men in the 500m and 1000m to the Olympics.
Garcia wore transponders Sunday, evidenced when he waved them in the air after he realized he finished fourth after the final pair crossed.
“I don’t think it’s set in yet,” said Garcia, who joked about his disqualification on NBC. “I didn’t really let it get to me. I was really surprised. Usually, stuff like that shakes me pretty well. But I didn’t really think about. In my mind, I truly believe that I made that [500m] team. I skated fast enough to be on the team. I left here yesterday feeling accomplished. I made it on my own speed. Not having my transponders yesterday didn’t affect my time.”
Hansen, a 2010 Olympian who was third in the 500m on Saturday, could also win a medal in Sochi. He took bronze behind Davis in the first two World Cup races this season.
Mantia, a former inline world champion, is also in the mix but may be better in the 1500m. He shaved .76 off his personal best in the 1000m on Sunday.
In the women’s race, Richardson (1:13.22) and Bowe (1:13.92) were followed by Sugar Todd and Kelly Gunther.
Richardson could take Olympic gold in this event given she’s won three of four World Cup races this year. Bowe took the fourth in a world-record time.
The U.S. has not won a women’s speed skating medal at the Olympics since 2002.
“I think it’s very likely to change,” Richardson said of the drought on NBC. “I think this is the piece to put the whole puzzle together in Sochi.”
Todd, who also qualified third in the 500m on Saturday, skated a personal best 1:15.72.
For fourth, Gunther edged three-time Olympian Elli Ochowicz with a personal best 1:16.43. Ochowicz was .08 slower, finishing fifth for the second straight day in two events where the U.S. can send a maximum of four women to Sochi.
Gunther agonizingly missed the 2010 Olympic team due to another skater’s reskate. One month after the Vancouver Games, she suffered a double compound fracture of a bone just below her left ankle in a skating crash at the Utah Olympic Oval. The cut was so deep, and there was so much blood, that there was concern she could lose her foot.
“I couldn’t even believe it,” Gunther said on NBC. “After everything I’ve been through, fighting back. My dream has always been to go to the Olympics.”
May 30, 2015, 5:59 PM EDT
The U.S. Olympic champions led several track and field stars in fine form at one of the season’s top international meets before Worlds.
May 30, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT
Olympic champions square off in an early season test ahead of the U.S. and World Championships.
May 30, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
The first of two days of rugby sevens action goes to 6 p.m. ET.
May 30, 2015, 6:42 AM EDT
“This competition is not about me.”
May 30, 2015, 6:40 AM EDT
The Diamond League meet continues Saturday on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
May 29, 2015, 3:20 PM EDT
“It was scary, but I was lucky.”
May 29, 2015, 2:42 PM EDT
Kipsang also provided his plan for racing the rest of the year.
May 29, 2015, 9:20 AM EDT
The Prefontaine Classic will remember the distance running icon Friday and Saturday.
Dara Torres picks greatest female swimmer(s) of all time, recalls teenage Michael Phelps, more in Q&A
May 28, 2015, 3:25 PM EDT
Torres’ daughter now swims and looks up her mom’s races on YouTube.
May 28, 2015, 12:15 PM EDT
The competition will be live on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra on Saturday and Sunday.
May 28, 2015, 9:16 AM EDT
Ross spoke with FIVB about the pair’s prospects for the near future.
May 27, 2015, 4:01 PM EDT
Several of the top U.S. contenders for World Championships medals will be in action.
May 27, 2015, 3:20 PM EDT
Cain must be in top shape one month from now for the biggest domestic meet of the season.
May 27, 2015, 11:51 AM EDT
Walsh Jennings has a history of shoulder problems.
May 27, 2015, 8:59 AM EDT
Uhlaender isn’t finished with her sliding career, though.
May 26, 2015, 2:54 PM EDT
Also, Asafa Powell won a 100m race.
May 26, 2015, 8:13 AM EDT
She may change coaches after the World Championships.
May 23, 2015, 7:40 PM EDT
Nathan Adrian’s biggest rival in the 100m freestyle could still be an Australian.
May 22, 2015, 3:44 PM EDT
The 2000 Olympic champion continues to struggle with weight loss.
May 22, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT
“We’re not baking cakes.”
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