Calgary / Canada

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Kai Verbij (NED) took gold in the men’s 1000m in Calgary on Saturday after fastest finisher Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS) was disqualified for crossing the marker irregularly in the inner corner.

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It was Verbij’s second career individual World Cup gold but he downplayed the achievement.

“The first time [last season’s 1000m in Berlin], Kjeld Nuis did not skate, so that actually was a sort of present,” he said.

“And this time Kulizhnikov is disqualified. It looks nice on paper but I still feel like I never really won a World Cup race myself.”

Verbij started in the final race against Norway’s Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen and finished in 1 minute, 6.93 seconds, just 0.03 faster than Nuis, who took silver.

Lorentzen, who led the 1000m World Cup rankings after winning in Stavanger two weeks ago, looked a little unstable. He could not catch Verbij in the final inner corner and clocked 1:06.98 to end up third.

Nuis skated in the penultimate race against Kulizhnikov, who finished in 1:06.88, just ahead of the Dutchman, whose silver was his first World Cup medal this season.

“I lacked a little confidence”, Nuis said.

“Jac [coach Jac Orie] said after the race that it was really good. It’s such a small gap. The top skaters are so close. Last year I already had a couple of gold medals around my neck at this stage of the season, now it’s the first [medal].

“The past two World Cups I was not fit. Now I am fit but you still have to show it, so therefore, this race is a good confidence booster.”

Verbij’s victory enabled him to take the lead in the 1000m World Cup standings with 260 points, ahead of Lorentzen (240) and Nuis (180).

In the men’s B Division, 18-year-old Jae Woong Chung (KOR) skated a world record for juniors in the 1000m, finishing in 1:08.41. He broke Beorn Nijenhuis’ (NED) 2003 Calgary world record of 1:08.53.

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