Erfurt / Germany

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Vanessa Herzog (AUT) won the second ladies 500m in 37.88 seconds in Erfurt on Saturday, to become the first Austrian World Cup winner since Emese Hunyady in 1997. Karolina Erbanova (CZE) took silver in 37.96 and Olga Fatkulina (RUS) came third in 38.28.

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Herzog was slightly faster than on Friday, when she took silver in 37.92. She felt that she was getting better after having been hampered by a bad cough last week.

“I drank tea to alleviate the pain in my throat and I’m getting better day by day now,” she said.

“Today’s race was just a little better than yesterday’s. I concentrated on staying low at the start and I was five hundredths faster in the opener, so that worked out well.”

Herzog skipped the 1000m on Friday because of her cough, but she will start in that distance on Sunday. After the Erfurt World Cup she is going to train hard.

“I want to gain more speed. I’ve been training with the boys and I will continue to do that over the next couple of weeks to be even faster at the Olympic Games (next month).” 

Erbanova won Friday’s race and stressed then how small the margins were between silver and gold. On Saturday she missed out on the top spot by just 0.08 seconds.

“Vanessa was just a little better today, but I look at the positive side: I was very close and it was a good race,” she said. 

Herzog surpassed Erbanova to take second place in the 500m World Cup ranking. 

“I don’t really look at the ranking,” Erbanova said. “I focus on every single race and right now Pyeongchang (Olympics) is the most important one.”

Nao Kodaira (JPN), who is absent in Erfurt, still leads the World Cup ranking with 700 points. Herzog has 555 and Erbanova 546.

Full results and classifications. Follow the discussion on social media by using #WCSpeed and #SpeedSkating and watch the live stream on the ISU Skating Channel.