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World records fall at speed skating worlds; Dutch reign ends

Graeme Fish

Canada’s Graeme Fish celebrates after the men’s 10,000 meters during the world single distances speedskating championships Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)


The world single distances speed skating championships produced two world records Friday. And, for the first time, a non-Dutch winner of the men’s 10,000m.

Graeme Fish led a Canadian one-two in the 10,000m, clocking 12:33.86 to take 2.44 seconds off silver medalist Ted-Jan Bloemen‘s world record from 2015. Full results are here.

The Netherlands was shut out of the medals altogether in an event it won at all 19 prior world championships.

Fish, a 22-year-old from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, is in his first full season of senior racing at the top international level. He said he was so tired after Friday’s effort that he threw up at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

“I did break Ted’s record, but he’s the reason I’m here. He’s taught me everything he knows,” Fish told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “I don’t know if I’m surprised. I think I was capable of it.”

Later, Japan lowered its world record in the women’s team pursuit from 2:50.87 to 2:50.76. Russian Pavel Kulizhnikov and Japanese Nao Kodaira won the 500m events.

The Netherlands, so dominant in recent years, failed to win any of the first six Olympic events between the first two days of the four-day competition. Saturday’s slate includes American Brittany Bowe defending her world title in the 1000m.

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MORE: World Single Distances Championships broadcast schedule