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Big Day 2 for hosts Netherlands at speed skating World Cup

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THE HAGUE, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) — Dutch skaters had a big day on Saturday at the second ISU speed skating World Cup of the 2022-2023 season, winning three of the four gold medals on offer on home ice in Heerenveen.

Antoinette de Jong set Team Netherlands to a good start, winning the women’s 1,500m race in one minute and 53.73 seconds, thanks to a fastest final lap. Miho Takagi won her second silver in Heerenveen in 1:53.92 following the 1,000m competition on Friday, while De Jong’s teammate Marijke Groenewoud had another third place finish as she did in the first World Cup in Stavanger, Norway a week ago.

China’s Li Qishi and Han Mei finished seventh and 10th respectively.

Olympic silver medalist Patrick Roest claimed the men’s 5,000m gold with a track record time of 6:04.36. Norwegian Sander Eitrem, who topped Division B last weekend, registered a personal best of 6:08.24 for the silver. Eitrem’s compatriot Hallgeir Engebraten, paired with Roest, bagged the bronze in 6:09.44.

The Dutch skaters also demonstrated their strength in the women’s team sprint, clocking 1:26.57 to stand on top of the podium. Canada came in second, followed by the United States. China finished seventh.

The only gold medal that eluded the Dutch went to Laurent Dubreuil of Canada, who bounced back from a disappointing 10th place finish in the men’s 1,000m race on Friday and sprinted to the 500m gold in 34.34 seconds. This was the first gold of the 2022-2023 season for the reigning World Cup winner, who narrowly missed the podium in the distance at Beijing 2022.

Wataru Morishige of Japan (34.45) and Merijn Scheperkamp of the Netherlands (34.69), both 22, enjoyed their first podium of the new season in the second and third place.

The three-day World Cup will conclude on Sunday with the men’s 1,500m and team sprint as well as women’s 500m and 3,000m golds on offer.

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