Denis Yuskov (RUS) took his third 1500m gold medal of the season but the crowd inside Hamar's Vikingskipet – with Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg among them – cheered louder for Håvard Bøkko (NOR) collecting the silver medal. The Norwegian took his first individual World Cup medal since the 2012/2013 season. In the 500m Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS) showed a little ShortTrack trick to stay on his feet in the inner corner and win his second gold medal of the weekend.
Men's 1500m medalists (L-R) Havard Bokko (NOR), Denis Yuskov (RUS) and Kim Min-Seok (KOR) © International Skating Union (ISU)
Yuskov out in front
Yuskov skated his first international race after six weeks of training in Kolomna, Russia. He finished in 1 minute, 44.95 seconds to stay well clear of the rest of the field. He said: "Of course I know not everyone is here, but I know I'm in good condition now. This race was very important for me to get back into the racing rhythm after a long training camp."
With 1:46.28 Bøkko was 1.33s slower than Yuskov. Kim Min-Seok (KOR) took bronze in 1:46.39.
Bøkko said: "This is my best 1500m in years. Actually I don't even remember when my last individual World Cup podium was." Looking forward to the World Single Distance Championships the Norwegian was realistic. "Some of the fastest 1500m skaters, [Kjeld] Nuis, [Thomas] Krol and [Patrick] Roest are not here so this doesn’t put me into a favorite's role for next week. I focus on the Team Pursuit."
One-hand-down Kulizhnikov takes second gold
In the 500m it was gold and silver for Russia. Pavel Kulizhnikov won his second race of the weekend in 34.78s. Ruslan Murashov (RUS) came second in 34.82s and Saturday's silver medalist Kim Jun-Ho (KOR) took bronze in 34.84s.
Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia competes in the Men's 500m © International Skating Union (ISU)
Kulizhnikov was a little slower than he had been on Saturday. He said: "I actually did not want to skate today, to save energy for next week's World Championships, but I decided to do it anyway. I hoped that it would be an easy race, but it was not because my pair-mate [Kim Jun-Ho] was very strong. In the end I pushed hard in the first 100 meters and in the last 100 meters and that proved to be enough."
Men's 500m medalists: (L-R) Viktor Mushtakov and Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia and Jun-Ho Kim © International Skating Union (ISU)
The Russian seemed to have trouble staying on his feet on the inner corner: "That was not a mistake, just a little Short Track trick – one hand on the ice to stay in position."