Heerenveen, Netherlands

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Brittany Bowe (USA) skated the perfect race to beat her own track record and take the Ladies' 1000m gold, before Antoinette de Jong (NED) took the third 3000m World Cup gold of her career at the ISU World Cup Speed skating in Heerenveen on Sunday.

Perfect race for Bowe

Brittany Bowe (USA) crushed her own 2015 track record by 0.66 seconds to win the 1000m in 1:13.24. The World Cup leader outclassed Miho Takagi (JPN) in the eighth pairing. Takagi was the only other skater to break the 1:14 barrier, but she trailed Bowe by 0.69 seconds, finishing in 1:13.93 to take silver. Yekaterina Shikhova (RUS) grabbed the bronze medal in 1:14.03.

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Brittany Bowe (USA) on her flawless race to gold in the Ladies' 1000m at Heerenveen 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)

Bowe was more than pleased with her performance, saying: "That was one of the most perfect races I've skated this far and I couldn't be happier to do it here in Thialf. Every stroke was right, no missteps, this was definitely one of the best races in my career. I already skated a great 500m and a good 1500m, then it normally comes together in the 1000m."

The American said she was happy to race against Takagi. "The pair was great, I had a great chase on the last straight and that makes the world of difference in the 1000m. It was the perfect pair, the perfect execution and I skated six tenths off the track record."  

After World Cups in Japan, Poland and the Netherlands, Bowe said she was happy to be heading home. "We've been on the road for seven weeks now. It's good to go back to Salt Lake City, have a little rest and get another training block in, because the real show is in February (World Single Distance Championships in Inzell)."

The top three in the 1000m World Cup ranking stayed the same, with Bowe leading on 217 points, Takagi in second with 202 points andVanessa Herzog(AUT), who finished 10th in Heerenveen, in third with 177 points.

Third career gold for De Jong

Antoinette de Jong (NED) was almost as happy after the 3000m as Bowe was with her victory. 

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Antoinette De Jong gets a kiss from her mother after winning the 3000m on Sunday 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)

Back on home soil, the 23-year-old Dutchwoman clinched her first gold of the season and the third individual World Cup win of her career. 

De Jong started in the second pairing and had to skate alone because pair-mate Ireen Wüst (NED) was a late withdrawal. It did not bother her too much. Clocking 3:59.41, she missed out on Wüst's 2013 track record by less than a second. 

None of the other 12 skaters managed to break the four-minute barrier on Sunday. Isabelle Weidemann (CAN) took silver in 4:00.12 and Martina Sáblíková (CZE) bronze in 4:00.33.

"When I stepped on the ice (at Thialf) this week, I had the right feeling back," De Jong said afterwards. 

"In Japan (the Obihiro and Tomakomai World Cups) my strokes were not hitting the ice well. Last week I've worked very hard at a training camp in Collalbo (Italy). After skating on bad ice for such a long time, it's good to be back here. The Ice Meister has done a great job. 

"It's tough to skate alone. I heard it just before my race and I had to change my race plan. I would have been focused on Ireen (Wüst) coming on the inside every time, and now I had to do it all by myself. 

"It was great to have the crowd supporting me. It's tough to motivate yourself. I prefer to have an opponent triggering me in the final stages of a race. I went in fast and those final laps were hard, I almost had to throw up after the race."

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De Jong flanked by silver medalist Isabelle Weidemann (CAN) and bronze medalist Martina Sablikova (CZE) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)

Weidemann took over the lead in the World Cup ranking. The Canadian has collected 200 points in the first four long distance World Cup races. Esmee Visser (NED) dropped to second place with 192 points, after a fourth-place finish in Heerenveen, and Sáblíková is third with 190 points.

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