Speed Skating - Lee opens World Cup campaign with win

South Korean speed skater Lee Sang-Hwa continues to prove unbeatable over 500m in Heerenveen after making a winning start to the new World Cup season on the same ice where she won the world title.

Speed Skating - Olympic champion Lee continues her speed skating dominance

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Sang-Hwa Lee of South Korea

The 23-year-old, who took Olympic gold over 500m in Vancouver in 2010, claimed the World Championship title over the distance in the Thialf back in March.

And she was on form again as the curtain came up on the new speed skating World Cup, taking another victory in the Netherlands by a tenth of a second over American Heather Richardson.

Lee clocked 37.85seconds while Japan's Nao Kodaira edged out Asian rival Hong Zhang of China by two hundredths of a second to finish third in a time of 38.26.

Meanwhile Stephanie Beckert finally tasted victory in Heerenveen, comfortably winning the ladies' 3000m by more than two seconds ahead of double Olympic champion Martina Sablikova.

Beckert had to settle for silver in both the 3000m and 5000m behind Sablikova at the World Championships in March however she won the former after clocking a time of 4:04.39minutes.

After missing out on a top-three finish in the ladies' 500m, the Netherlands had something to shout about in the 3000m as Jorien ter Mors came home in third behind Sablikova in 4:06.90.

And in the men's 5000m Ivan Skobrev, another silver medallist at the Heerenveen World Championships, this time over 1500m, came out on top by over five seconds.

The Russian clocked an unbeatable time of 6:21.53 with Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway finishing second and Belgium's Bart Swings third a further three seconds back.

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