Sablikova maintains winning run
Double Olympic champion Martina Sablikova continued her golden start to the season at the second ISU Speed Skating World Cup of the year in Astana – taking 3000m gold.
The 24-year-old kicked off the new campaign in style last weekend, topping the podium in the 3000m at the curtain raising World Cup in Chelyabinsk.
And she was back at it in Kazakhstan battling her way to gold in the 3000m again – edging out Germany’s Claudia Pechstein by 0.31seconds.
Dutch skater Diane Valkenburg took a distant third over two seconds behind Sablikova, of the Czech Republic, but just two hundredths ahead of teammate Ireen Wust.
Meanwhile Korea’s Lee Sang-Hwa upgraded the silver she won in the second of two 500m races last time out in Russia to gold in Astana.
In the first of two 500m races again, she clocked a time of 37.78seconds with Germany again having to settle for second in the form of Jenny Wolf.
Wolf clocked 38.04 to take silver while Thijsje Oenema, who won bronze in the first 500m race in Chelyabinsk, collected the same colour again just 0.18 further behind.
Meanwhile in the men’s 500m Mo Tae-Bum was also busy jumping up from second to first – winning gold by just five hundredths of a second.
Mo had claimed silver in the second of two 500m races in Russia but topped the podium this time just ahead of America’s Tucker Fredricks in 34.89 with Stefan Groothuis third.
And in the men’s 1500m Dutch skater Wouter Olde Heuvel took gold ahead of Canada’s Denny Morrison and Norway’s Havard Bokko.