Kramer wins gold in Heerenveen
Sven Kramer ensured the Dutch celebrations were two fold on day two of the ISU Speed Skating World Distances Championships in Heerenveen as he won his first gold at the event for three years.
The 25-year-old was the last skater to take to the ice on the second day of competition in the Netherlands and it was well worth the wait as he powered to the 5000m title he won three times in a row between 2007 and 2009.
Kramer clocked a winning time of 6:13.87 – 1.39 seconds ahead of Dutch teammate Bob de Jong who was in turn over a second ahead of American Jonathan Kuck in third position.
Kuck recorded 6:16.28 to deny a home one-two-three with Jan Blokhuijsen having to settle for fourth 0.54 behind, while France’s Alexis Contin was a well shy of him, finishing fifth in 6:21.44.
However, it didn’t dampen the spirits of the Dutch crowd much as Stefan Groothuis set up a day to remember in the 1000m that preceded the 5000m with his first ever World Distances Championship gold medal.
Once again the hosts dominated the top-two with Kjeld Nuis second 0.22 behind Groothuis in a time of 1:08.79 while in a repeat of the 5000m an American was once again clutching bronze – this time Shani Davis.
Meanwhile, Christine Nesbitt was on hand to put a stop to any hopes of Dutch skaters winning every gold on offer on day two as she won the 1500m and her seventh career World Championship title.
The reigning Olympic 1000m gold medallist powered her way to the top step of the podium, clocking 1:56.07, to deny Dutch skater Ireen Wust, who was third in the 3000m on Thursday, by 0.33.
But Linda de Vries ensured the Netherlands won six of the nine available medals on offer on day two in Heerenveen by finishing third just over a second behind Canadian Nesbitt.