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Kimi Goetz, Erin Jackson go 1-2 to open speed skating World Cup season

Jackson, Goetz battle in tight World Cup 500m race
In the opening speed skating World Cup race of the season, Americans took the top two spots on the podium as Kimi Goetz barely held off teammate Erin Jackson for the 500m win in Obihiro, Japan.

Americans Kimi Goetz and Erin Jackson went one-two in the first speed skating World Cup race of the season on a day that U.S. speed skaters combined for five podium finishes.

Goetz, 29, earned her second individual World Cup win by clocking 37.82 seconds in Obihiro, Japan. Her previous win was in the 1000m, and that was also her better distance at last year’s Olympics (seventh place).

“The 1000m is still my main focus,” she said, according to the International Skating Union. “But you’ve got to have some speed to be good in the 1000m, and we’ve been working a lot on my 1000m opener. That’s helping with the 500m opener too.”

She overtook the Olympic gold medalist Jackson by seven hundredths. Femke Kok of the Netherlands, the world champion at the sprint distance, was third.

Jackson’s runner-up was her best result on the World Cup since March 2022. It came five days after she won inline skating gold at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, after which she arrived in Obihiro on Thursday.

The U.S. added three more third-place finishes on Friday from Goetz (1000m), Jordan Stolz (1000m) and Mia Kilburg-Manganello (mass start).

The speed skating World Cup continues Saturday and streams live all season on Peacock.