Mon, 08 Mar 2021

THE HAGUE, the Netherlands, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Dutch skaters showed their domination at the 2020-21 season ISU Speed Skating World Cup in Heerenveen, the Netherlands by claiming five of the six titles on offer on Saturday.

Home skaters swept the top five places in the men's 1,500m, with a superb Thomas Krol leading the pack in one minute and 43.24 seconds. The Netherlands' domination continued in the other men's events on the second day of the first ISU World Cup event of the 2020/2021 season, with Dai Dai Ntab and Arjan Stroetinga taking gold in the 500m and Mass Start respectively.

"This is unique, five Dutchmen on top," Krol said after he finished just 0.24 seconds short of the track record in Heerenveen. "But it is well-deserved because everyone skated super times."

In the women's 500m, Femke Kok of the Netherlands clocked the fastest time of 37.089, edging Angelina Golikova of Russia to second place in 37.304. Heather Mclean of Canada settled for the third in 37.368.

Irene Schouten added one more gold for the Netherlands as she clinched the women's mass start title with a time of eight minutes and 34.020 seconds.

Brittany Bowe of the United States stopped the Dutch skaters from a clean sweep of all six golds up for grab by winning the women's 1,500m race.

"I'm super excited and grateful to be here and skate against the best in the world," said the 32-year-old Bowe.

Bowe recorded a personal best time in 1:53.88, in the 1,500m at the Thialf track to beat reigning World, European, and Olympic champion Ireen Wust and European Allround champion Antoinette de Jong, both from the Netherlands.

"I came into that race really confident," she added. "But you never know what you're going to get or give at World Cup level. For that to be the fastest time I ever did in Thialf, it goes to show that I'm really strong."

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