(Reuters) – The United States set a world record to win the men’s team pursuit at the speed skating World Cup in Utah on Sunday in a major boost to their medal hopes at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The U.S. team, who finished eighth in the 2018 Games, crossed the finish line in 3:34.47, improving on the previous mark of 3:34.68 set by the Netherlands in February 2020.
“I did the easy job,” said Joey Mantia. “I just get up front and lead the way and these guys are pushing me so hard that I can basically just move my feet and I keep the rhythm and keep the speeds up.
“The magic behind our team pursuit being successful is that everybody thinks everybody else’s job is the hardest.”
Thomas Krol led a third successive Dutch podium sweep in the men’s 1,000 metres, with Olympic champion Kjeld Nuis finishing second and Hein Otterspeer coming third.
Japan’s Wataru Morishige fended off Artem Arefyer and Laurent Dubreuil to take the men’s 500m gold in 33.99 seconds, while Miho Takagi won the women’s 1,500 in 1:49.99.
Canada’s Ivanie Blondin won the women’s mass start in 8:31.87, finishing ahead of Marijke Groenewoud and Sofie Haugen.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)