Poland wins 2 gold medals at FISU Speed Skating Championship

Mar 4, 2022, 3:06 AM | Updated: 5:07 pm

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — American William Gebauer set a track record in the men’s 500 meters and Team Poland set a mark in the men’s team pursuit at the FISU World University Speed Skating Championship on Friday.

With temperatures in the single digits and a wind-chill well below zero, Gebauer, a native of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, topped the 17-skater field in a time of 36.74 seconds. Silver medalist Kota Mitsui of Japan finished in 36.80 and American Conor McDermott-Mostowy claimed the bronze in 36.84.

After three days of racing, athletes have combined to break six track records on the outdoor 400-meter James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval where Eric Heiden won five gold medals in the 1980 Winter Olympics.

“The times that were skated here 40-plus years ago by Eric Heiden were insanely fast and they still are crazy fast, but I feel like with the level of international competition here, a track record is pretty much a must for a win,” Gebauer said.

“In a sprint, you go as fast as you can, you can’t control anything else,” added McDermott-Mostowy, of Washington, D.C. “You always want gold, but I’m more than happy to settle for bronze.”

Netherlands skaters finished first and second in the women’s 500, with Ju-Lin De Visser taking gold in 41.22 and Henny De Vries was second in 41.48. Germany’s Lea-Sophie Scholz took the bronze in 41.64.

Poland came into the sixth FISU World University Championship Speed Skating event with a nation-leading 52 medals but had come away empty after the first two days in Lake Placid. That changed Friday with the two golds in the team pursuit.

“We’ve been waiting to win medals and today we broke through with two,” said Dawid Burzykowski, who helped lead the Polish men to a winning time of 4 minutes, 13.56 seconds. “We are happy to have two medals and we hope tomorrow we will have more.”

Burzykowski, along with teammates Szymon Palka and Piotr Nalecki, finished more than two seconds ahead of the Norwegian silver medalists, who skated to an eight-lap time of 4:15.76. Netherlands took bronze in 4:19.61.

Maja Plonczyk, Iga Wojtasik and Natalia Jabrzyk combined for the women’s team pursuit gold medal in 3:25.36. The Netherlands was second in 3:31.75, while Team USA took the bronze as Ilsa Shobe, of Roseville, Minnesota, Anna Quinn of St. Louis, and Thalia Staehle of Seattle pushed each other to a six-lap finish of 3:41.47.

The competition ends Saturday.


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Poland wins 2 gold medals at FISU Speed Skating Championship