U.S. Speedskaters Sweep Men’s 1,000 Meters
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) _ Shani Davis, Joey Cheek, and Casey FitzRandolph gave the U.S. speedskating team a medal sweep in a World Cup 1,000-meter race Sunday.
Davis was first in 1 minute, 8.43 seconds to win for the second straight day at the Pettit National Ice Center. Davis, who set the world record of 1:07.03 in the 1,000 at a World Cup race last weekend in Salt Lake City, has won four straight races and is the favorite at that distance for the 2006 Turin Olympics.
Cheek was second in 1:08.68 and FitzRandolph was third in 1:09.11.
``It’s a great feeling to be able to stand on the podium with other U.S. skaters one-two-three,″ Davis said. ``This shows that we have the talent and potential to do some things like that a few months down the road.″
When Cheek and Davis were the last pair to skate, Cheek knew the Americans had a chance for a sweep because FitzRandolph was in first.
``I was thinking, ’Wow, if I do well we can have one-two-three up here,‴ said Cheek, who won bronze in the 1,000 in 2002 in Salt Lake City. ``Then I tried to get that out of my head because it’s not good to be thinking about such nonsense. I was thrilled to have all three of us up there.″
FitzRandolph also finished third in the 500, tying South Korea’s Kang-Seok Lee. The medal finishes pre-qualified FitzRandolph for the U.S. Olympic team in both events, which means he has a chance to defend the gold medal he won in the 500 at the 2002 Olympics.
``It’s a nice feeling, a certain sense of confidence and calmness,″ FitzRandolph said.
Chiara Simionato of Italy won the women’s 1,000 in 1:15.60 to edge American Jennifer Rodriguez by .08.