Kulizhnikov wins men's overall speedskating World Cup title

BY foxsports • March 21, 2015

ERFURT, Germany (AP) Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia clinched the men's overall grand World Cup speedskating title as well as the season's 500 and 1000-meter titles on Saturday.

Kulizhnikov finished the 500 beating Dutch skaters Michel Mulder and Gerben Jorritsma for his eighth win of the season. The Russian has an unassailable 279-point lead over Canada's Laurent Dubreuil ahead of Sunday's final race.

Kulizhnikov's fourth place in the 1,000 was enough to claim that title by 29 points from Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands. Canada's Denny Morrison beat Nuis by 0.35 seconds, and compatriot Vincent De Haitre by 0.40.

In the overall grand World Cup standings, Kulizhnikov's lead of 985 points is unassailable with Nuis on 750. The Russian is the first skater to win the World Cup in both sprint distances, as well as the overall World Cup in the same season.

Dutch skater Jorrit Bergsma won the men's 5,000 for his third successive World Cup title. Bergsma beat Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway and Patrick Beckert of Germany.

Marrit Leenstra's fourth place in the women's 1,500 was enough to take the title by 10 points from Brittany Bowe of the United States, who won the race. Bowe edged compatriot Heather Richardson by 0.11. Czech skater Martina Sablikova was 0.86 behind in third.

Richardson earlier led another American 1-2 in the women's 500, edging Bowe by 0.13 seconds and Kazakhstan's Yekaterina Aydova by 0.35.

Olympic champion Lee Sang-hwa didn't skate and the South Korean could lose her World Cup lead to Japan's Nao Kodaira in Sunday's race.

Richardson leads the women's overall standings, on 910 points, ahead of Dutch skater Ireen Wust on 855. Wust isn't competing at Erfurt.