THE HAGUE, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Dutch skater Patrick Roest sliced more than three seconds off his own track record to win the men's 5,000m in the first leg of the 2020-21 ISU Speed Skating World Cup in Heerenveen, Netherlands on Sunday.
Three-time all round champion Roest posted sub-29-second laps since the fifth circuit for a commanding victory in 6:05.14, a huge improvement on his previous record of 6:08.21.
"It went well from the start. When I skated my [previous] track record, I slowed down a little too much after the opener. Now I managed to pick up the pace faster with 28-second laps. It's not easy, but I knew that if I could keep that up, it would lead to something beautiful," said the European all round champion.
Four-time Olympic gold medalists Sven Kramer and Sergey Trofimov were second and third in the following pairings, unable to match Roest's dominating performance.
Roest's compatriot Irene Schouten clocked a personal best of 3:57.155 to beat teammates Antoinette de Jong and Joy Beune for the women's 3,000m gold. The time also broke a track record previously held by de Jong.
"Last year I could only have dreamed about this," said the 28-year-old, who won the mass start on Saturday. "This is the track where all the best skaters in the world compete. When your name is up on that board, that means you can skate pretty good."
Brittany Bowe and Femke Kok also won gold medals.
World record holder Bowe, the only non-Dutch gold medalist on Saturday, was happy to add another 1,000m gold to her 1,500m win in 1:13.60, beating Jorien ter Mors's 1:13.94 and Femke Kok's 1:14.07.
Standing between two Dutch women on the podium, Bowe joked: "I've been in the Dutch sandwich here the last two days, but I can't say I'm mad about that."
For Kok, a 1,500m bronze was the icing on the cake, as the 20-year-old triumphed in two 500m races over the weekend, becoming the first Dutch woman to complete the sweep. Crossing the line in 37.27, Kok repeated her win over Russia's Angelina Golikova, this time by a mere 0.02 seconds.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Thomas Krol (1:07.486) and Kai Verbij (1:07.579) led a one-two finish in the men's 1,000m for the Netherlands. Russia's Pavel Kulizhnikov, who crashed in his first 500m race on Saturday, managed a comeback with bronze.
Russian Artem Arefyev had his maiden 500m win with a personal best of 34.45s, edging Saturday's winners Dai Dai Ntab and Lennart Velema.
The condensed 2020-21 season saw all ISU speed skating events held in a 'bubble' in Heerenveen, with the next and last World Cup leg to be held from January 29 to 31. Enditem