Russia came tenth in last season's Team Pursuit World Cup, but they seem to have done some good work over the summer. Skating versus Poland in the third pair Rumyantsev, Semerikov and Trofimov started cautiously, but they were the only team to keep all 200m split times under 14 seconds to break the track record in 3:41.26.
In the final pair versus Italy, Olympic Champions Norway (Håvard Bøkko, Sverre Lunde Pedersen and Simen Spieler Nilsen) were faster than Russia in the first three laps, but they eventually had to settle for third place in 3:42.770. The Netherlands (Douwe de Vries, Marcel Bosker and Chris Huizinga), who skated in the fourth pair, had a slower start than Norway, but they paced their race better to finish in 3:42.14.
Kulizhnikov, Lorentzen and Shinhama on the 500m podium in Obihiro ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Lorentzen nails first 500m win
Lorentzen continued where he left off last season. After having won last year's 500m World Cup, the Olympic Champion grabbed the first gold World Cup medal of the season in Obihiro, when he beat world record holder Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS) in the penultimate pair. Lorentzen clocked 34.73 to stay 0.04 seconds ahead of the Russian, who took silver. Japan's Tatsuya Shinhama came third in 34.87 to take his first career World Cup medal on home soil.
Russia's Rumyantsev, Semerikov and Trofimov win the Team Pursuit in Obihiro ©International Skating Union (ISU)