Russia's Kulizhnikov breaks world 500 record - again
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Russia's Pavel Kulizhnikov broke the world 500-meter record for the second time in a week Friday, finishing in 33.98 seconds in a World Cup speedskating event.
Kulizhnikov set the previous mark of 34.00 on Sunday in Calgary, Alberta, breaking the record of 34.03 set by Canada's Jeremy Wotherspoon in 2007.
''I understood the ice was faster here, so I wanted to skate faster,'' Kulizhnikov said through an interpreter.
Kulizhnikov grinned ear-to-ear during a post-race ceremony to honor the moment. The Utah Olympic Oval has an enormous plaque at the entrance that lists the world records and those set at the Oval. Kulizhnikov stood on a lift and removed his name with the old record and replaced it with the new mark.
American Mitchell Whitmore was a career-best second in an American-record 34.19. It was the 25-year-old's first podium finish since starting World Cup competition at 18 years old.
''I didn't really think about podiums so much until maybe three years ago when I started getting close,'' Whitmore said. ''Then the last two years, really, I've been hundredths off multiple times. It was awesome to finally get there.''
The Netherlands' Kjeld Nuis won the 1,500 in 1:42.14. American Joey Mantia was second in 1:42.45, and teammate Shani Davis third in 1:42.90.
China's Hong Zhang won the women's 500 in 36.56. American Brittany Bowe followed in 37.03, and teammate Heather Bergsma was third in 37.13.
''I have a lot of momentum coming off of Calgary last weekend, winning gold, silver and bronze,'' Bowe said. ''Feeling really good so far (this season). It's always nice to skate personal bests. You can't be mad at skating faster than you've ever skated before.
''With that said, it's a very long season and the goal is to be world champion in February. It's nice to skate fast, but we need to be ready to go in February.''
The Czech Republic's Martina Sablikova won the women's 5,000 in 6:47.42.