Ireen Wüst (NED) took her first World Cup win of the season when she grabbed gold in Saturday’s 1500m in Erfurt. Marrit Leenstra (NED) took silver and Ida Njåtun (NOR) collected the bronze medal.
Wüst skated against teammate Antoinette de Jong (NED) in the eighth of 10 pairs. She quickly left her compatriot behind and was the first in the race to beat the one minute and 56 second-barrier, finishing in 1:55.66 - just 0.05 short of her own 2013 track record. De Jong had to settle for seventh place in 1:57.85.
“This was a solid race, but not the race with which I could win the Olympic title and that’s what I want,” Wüst said.
The Netherlands’ most decorated Olympian was fourth in Friday’s 1000m and sought redemption in Saturday’s 1500m.
“Yesterday I just disappointed by myself, because I was so much better than I showed. This race was OK. To compare: yesterday in the 1000m I skated 28.3 seconds in the first full lap, and today in the 1500m it was 28.4 so that’s much better.
“I came here to win the 1500m, but it’s not good enough yet. I’ve done a lot of training over the past couple of weeks, so I could not expect to be at the top of my game here.”
Leenstra had the only other time under 1:56, when she stopped the clock at 1:55.75 in the final pair. Njåtun’s 1:56.66 was good enough for bronze.
Miho Takagi (JPN), who is absent in Erfurt, still leads the World Cup ranking with 400 points. Leenstra is second with 270 points and Yekaterina Shikhova (RUS), who came fourth in 1:56.72, is third with 236 points.