World records fall to Bloemen, Kodaira

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SALT LAKE CITY: Canadian Ted-Jan Bloemen and Japan’s Nao Kodaira set world records in winning the men’s 5,000m and women’s 1,000m on Sunday at the speed skating World Cup event in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Dutch-born Bloemen clocked six minutes, 1.86 seconds to win the 5,000m, shattering the previous world record of 6:03.32 set by Sven Kramer of the Netherlands in Calgary in November 2007.

“I had this world record in the back of my head the whole week, but breaking it by this margin really came as a surprise,” said the 31-year-old Bloemen, the 10,000m world record-holder who has skated for Canada since 2014. “This is one of my best races ever, together with my 10,000m world record.”

Kodaira, who missed out on a 500m world record on Friday, clocked 1:12.09 to win the 1,000m final while skating in a pairing with compatriot Miho Takagi.

She broke the previous record of 1:12.08 set by American Brittany Bowe in Salt Lake City in November 2015.

Bowe, steadily working her way back after suffering a concussion in 2016, finished sixth in 1:13.55.

“It was the same today, but I could control my speed well in this 1000m,” she said. “I was tired in the final lap and it was really tough. I had to do it on my own and I thought to myself, ‘Just go.’”

Takagi finished in a personal best of 1:12.63 to take the silver.

In all, four world records fell this week in Salt Lake City. Russian Denis Yuskov broke the men’s 1,500m world mark on Saturday and Japan broke their own women’s team pursuit world record on Friday.