USA speedskater Mantia wins first World Cup victory
American Joey Mantia, a former inline champion, earned his first World Cup victory Friday, winning the 1,500 meters in 1 minute, 45.80 seconds.
Zbigniew Brodka of Poland was second in 1:45.83 and Denis Yuskov of Russia third in 1:46.14 in the final World Cup before the Olympics.
"It was definitely a surprise for me. Even though I have faith in myself and feel like I have the tools to get where i want to be, coming up short over and over again this season and feeling like I was heading backwards, started spawning some doubts," Mantia said. "Today was a big confidence booster for me heading into Olympic trials."
Michel Mulder of the Netherlands beat Olympic champion Mo Tae-bum of South Korea in the 500 meters to win his second speedskating World Cup.
Mulder finished in 34.80 seconds Friday to beat Mo by 0.09 seconds.
Keiichiro Nagashima of Japan was third in 35.01.
In the women’s sprint, Olympic champion Lee Sang-hwa of South Korea won her seventh consecutive race, setting a track record in 37.36 seconds. She broke the record held by Jenny Wolf of Germany, the Olympic silver medalist who crashed in their race.
Olga Fatkulina of Russia was second in 37.71 and Wang Beixing of China third in 37.79.
Olympic champion Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic beat German veteran Claudia Pechstein to take the 3,000-meter race in 4:02.25.