Speed Skating - Richardson and Mulder win world sprint titles

Heather Richardson became the first American to win the ladies' title at the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships since 2005 as the men's crown was also put into new hands.

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Speed Skating - Richardson and Mulder win world sprint titles
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Heather Richardson dominiert US-Meisterschaften

The 23-year-old, who has been in fine form in the 1000m on the World Cup circuit this season with four wins for the overall lead, was placed second overnight on home ice in Utah. Richardson finished third in the 500m and 1000m on Saturday however an improved performance, and a win, a day later ensured she moved up into first place. The American was fourth in the second 500m race however a win in the second 1000m race, a distance over which she is so dominant currently, saw her claim her first world medal and title. It also marked the first time in eight years that an American has won the ladies' World Sprint Speed Skating Championships with Jennifer Rodriguez the last to do so at the same Salt Lake City venue in 2005. Jing Yu, the defending champion who held the overnight lead, moved down into second overall after a fifth and a fourth while Sang-Hwa Lee, winner in 2010, took bronze. Lee ducked under the 37-second barrier once again to win the 500m, in which she is the world record holder after posting 36.80 in Calgary last weekend, but was eighth in the 1000m. Meanwhile Michel Mulder also claimed his first-ever medal and first-ever gold at the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships to ensure the men's title stayed in Dutch hands for another year. Mulder was fifth in the 500m and third in the 1000m on the opening night for the overall lead and, while he didn't win again in either race a day later, he was rewarded for his greater consistency. He was 16th in the second 500m race however second in the second 1000m event saw him finish top of the pile just ahead of Pekka Koskela and teammate Hein Otterspeer and repeat Stefan Groothuis’ effort from last year. Koskela was ninth and sixth on the second night for silver, repeating his effort from the 2007 Championships, while Otterspeer was 18th and first for bronze and his first medal. Joji Kato ensured a second victory in the 500m but he couldn’t match his efforts over double the distance as a 33rd on the opening night was followed up with a 22nd to put him 22nd overall.

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