Jun-Ho Kim (KOR) won his first ever World Cup gold on the third day of the ISU World Cup speed skating in Minsk on Sunday. The 24-year-old sprinter surprised a competitive field in the men's 500m, when he stopped the clock at 34.87 to take home the first World Cup gold in the event for Rep. Korea since Tae-bum Mo in December 2013. Kjeld Nuis (NED) made amends for Saturday's disappointing 1000m by seizing gold in the 1500m.
Jun-Ho Kim (KOR) on his way to his first World Cup gold in the Men's 500m in Minsk on Sunday © International Skating Union
In absence of the injured world record holder Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS), all eyes in the 500m were on Tatsuya Shinhama (JPN), the only other skater who has ever broken the 34-second barrier in the shortest distance.
Shinhama started in the final pairing versus Viktor Mushtakov (RUS). With 9.70, the Japanese youngster opened slower than Kim, who had covered the first 100m in 9.65 in the seventh of 10 pairings. With 25.31, Shinhama could not match Kim's full lap (25.22) either, and he had to settle for fourth place in 35.01.
Men's 500m medalists Tingyu Gao (CHN), Jun-Ho Kim (KOR) and Dai Dai Ntab (NED) © International Skating Union
Nuis stays calm to win 1500m
In the 1500m Kjeld Nuis (NED) managed to stay composed in the 1500m, after a sloppy race in the 1000m on Saturday. The Olympic champion started in the eighth pairing versus Min-Seok Kim (KOR) and he was the first to open under 24 seconds in 23.88. Nuis paced his race well and was able to make use of his opponent on the final back straight to finish in 1:46.22, more than a second slower than Russian Denis Yuskov's track record of 1:45.18.
Yuskov himself faced the 1000m winner Thomas Krol (NED) in the final pairing on Sunday. The Dutchman had the fastest opener in 23.76, but he did not have Nuis' stamina.
Men's 1500m gold medalist Kjeld Nuis is flanked by Russia's Denis Yuskov and his team-mate Thomas Krol © International Skating Union
Yuskov stayed on Krol's tail and used the final inner corner to chase him down. Both men battled for the pair win on the last straight, with Yuskov pipping Krol to the line in 1:46.45. The Russian took silver after Friday's bronze in the 5000m, to show that he is a force to reckon with in the upcoming allround tournaments this season. Krol took the 1500m bronze in 1:46.49.