Sablikova beats Takagi to be crowned speed skating women's all-round world champion

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-04 14:20:08|Editor: Xiaoxia
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OTTAWA, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic broke 5,000m world record on Day 2 of the ISU World All-round Championship to be crowned champion in Calgary, Canada on Sunday, edging Japan's Miho Takagi by 0.58 points on the overall standings. Defending champion Patrick Roest of the Netherlands bagged men's gold.

Takagi led the overall standings on Day 1 after finishing first in the 500m race with a time of 37.22 seconds. Sablikova won the 3,000m in three minutes 53.31 seconds, lifting Canadian skater Cindy Klassen's 13-year-long world record by 0.03 seconds and stood in the second place.

As Day 2 started, Takagi expanded her lead by sprinting to the 1,500m victory in 1:52.08, but the runner-up of the World Sprint Championships had to settle for another silver finishing only eighth in the final 5,000m race, where 31-year-old Sablikova refreshed her own world record to 6:42.01 and clinched the gold medal.

"I got special power today from Cinday Klassen," the Czech world champion said. "She wrote me a message after the 3,000m to congratulate me yesterday, and she wished me good luck for today."

Han Mei, the only Chinese in the tournament, finished sixth in the 500m and sat 18th in the overall standing.

In the men's section, Roester, leading from Day 1, continued his reign on the tracks, finishing second in 1:43.31 in the 1,500m race and triumphed in the final 10,000m event with the time of 12:51.17 to defend his all-round title. Norway's Sverre Lunde Pedersen claimed his second silver in the World Championships and three-time Olympic 5,000m champion Sven Kramer of the Netherlands won a bronze.

"That's nice, but of course it's not what I came for," Kramer said, expressing disappointment finishing only ninth in the 500m evnet. "I have to get rid of that inconsistency and that's something to work on for the next season."

The last ISU speed skating event in the 2018/19 season will be the World Cup Speed Skating Final to be held in Salt Lake City, the United States from March 9 to 10.