Denis Yuskov (RUS) showed blistering form in the Men’s 1500m at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Heerenveen on Saturday, taking gold in 1 minute, 44.42 seconds. Vincent De Haitre (CAN) was more than a second slower to claim silver (1:45.87), with Thomas Krol (NED) taking bronze in 1:45.92.
If he can take his form into the Calgary and Salt Lake City World Cups, Yuskov might get close to the 1500m world record of 1:41.04 set by Shani Davis (USA) in Salt Lake City in 2009. “Yes, I’m thinking of it and hoping for it. But this is sport, not every day is the same,” the 28-year-old said.
Yuskov has been training with Koen Verweij (NED) for the past couple of months. The Dutchman finished fourth in 1:46.09 in the first World Cup event of the season. “He skated the team pursuit yesterday, so that may have affected his performance,” Yuskov said.
The Russian considers Verweij to be a major opponent this season and enjoys training with the Dutchman: “It was a very interesting experience to train with him and my motivation is bigger right now. I think it’s the same for Koen. It’s a good experience for the both of us.”
Bronze medal winner Krol was self-critical of his own race versus winner Yuskov. “I was a bit sloppy and I didn’t do well tactically,” Krol said. “After this morning's training I thought the ice was very fast and I decided to hold back a little in the opening. That appeared to be a mistake because I had less speed than Yuskov, and then catching up cost me too much energy.”