Eurosport - Sat, 13 Mar 20:54:00 2010
Canada's Kristina Groves struck gold at the speed skating World Cup final in Heerenveen to defend her 1,500m World Cup title.
The 33-year old held a slim lead over teammate Christine Nesbitt going into the final event in the Netherlands but hammered home her superiority with her third gold from six 1,500m World Cup races this season.
Coupled together in the final pairing, Groves and Nesbitt set off at a lightning pace in Heerenveen, with little to separate the two at the half way point.
But while Nesbitt's speed quickly faded, Groves powered on, eventually finishing in 1:58.15 minutes to capture gold ahead of Czech Republic's Martina Sablikova and Canada's Brittany Schussler, 0.12 and 0.45 seconds back in second and third respectively.
Nesbitt eventually slumped to 15th but did enough to ensure she finished second overall in the standings with Sablikova third.
In the men's 500m, USA's Tucker Fredericks survived Dutch skater Jan Smeekens' late run of form to clinch the World Cup title
Smeekens closed the gap behind Fredericks to just 106 points ahead of Saturday's final race and while the Dutch skater sealed the maximum 150 with his fourth consecutive World Cup win, Fredericks' fourth-place was enough to keep him ahead.
Meanwhile, Norway's Havard Bokko captured the men's 5,000 and 10,000m title with his first win of the season in Heerenveen.
The 23-year old took advantage of home favourite Sven Kramer's absence to sweep to gold and leapfrog from fourth to first in the standings.
Ivan Skobrev struck silver behind Bokko and finished second behind the Norwegian in the overall standings while home favourite Bob de Jong placed third overall after finishing eighth.
Finally, Jenny Wolf confirmed her dominance in the women's 500m, scoring her fourth win on the bounce.
The German had already tied up the World Cup title but put on a show for the Dutch crowd, holding off home skater Margot Boer in her final pairing and denying another Dutch skater, Annette Gerritsen, gold with her winning time.