Bart Swings won his first career 5000m World Cup gold in Tomakomai. The Dutch men swept the podium in the 1000m, but had to leave the Team Sprint gold to Russia.
Another Dutch sweep in the Men's 1000m
After Saturday's medal sweep in the 1500m, the Dutch man went home with all silverware in the 1000m on Sunday too. Kjeld Nuis (NED) clinched the gold again and Thomas Krol (NED) collected another bronze, but the middle man was different. In the 1500m World Allround Champion Patrick Roest (NED) had joined Nuis and Krol on the podium, and in the 1000m it was 2017 World Sprint Champion Kai Verbij (NED) to take the honor.
Nuis skated versus Krol in the second last pairing and both men were the first to clock a time under 1:11. The Olympic Champion finished in 1:10.45 and his team mate crossed the line 0.46 seconds later. Only Verbij and Håvard Lorentzen (NOR) came close in the final pairing. The Dutchman finished in 1:10.72, but the Norwegian Olympic silver medalist did not manage to stay under 1:11 finishing in 1:11.06 for fourth place.
Last week's winner Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS) did not skate the 1000m in Tomakomai. Nuis took over the lead in the World Cup ranking with 114 points. Krol is second with 96 points and Verbij third with 94 points. Kulizhnikov dropped to 11th place.
Verbij, Nuis and Krol on the 1000m podium ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Career first 5000m gold for Swings
Bart Swings (BEL) became the second Belgian to win a 5000m World Cup gold medal after Dutch Belgian Bart Veldkamp in 1999. Swings set a track record time of 6:34.85 in the first pairing of the men's longest distance at the Tomakomai World Cup and nobody managed to come close.
While conditions worsened, with increasing winds and a bit of rain, last week's winner Patrick Roest (NED) took on compatriot Marcel Bosker in the penultimate pairing. The Dutchman started faster than Swings, but couldn't maintain his high pace hallway through the race and bit in the dust with 6:37.32.
Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR) took on a different approach in the final pairing. The Norwegian started slower and used his saved energy to skate exceptionally fast 30.5, 30.8 and 31.1 laps. Swings set 31.2, 32.0 and 32.1, while Roest clocked 33.0, 32.2 and 32.1. Pedersen's acceleration was not enough for gold, but he managed to edge out Roest for silver in 6:36.86. His pair-mate Aleksandr Rumyantsev (RUS) came seventh in 6:39.53.
Roest kept the lead in the long distance World Cup with 108 points. Pedersen comes second with 94 points and Rumyantsev is third with 90 points.
Pedersen, Swings and Roest on the 5000m podium in Tomakomai ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Russia surprises the Netherlands
The Netherlands seemed on course for their second team sprint win of the season when Kjeld Nuis entered the final lap on gold medal pace, but the Dutchman could not match the last lap of youngster Viktor Mushtakov and Russia ran away with victory. Mushtakov crossed the line in 1:23.54, after Ruslan Murashov and Alexey Yesin had set him up for the final lap in 55.94. Dai Dai Ntab, who skated instead of last week's first man Michel Mulder, and Kai Verbij launched Nuis in 55.59, but the man who had already won this weekend's 1500m and 1000m finished 0.10 seconds behind Russia's time in 1:23.64. Canada (Christopher Fiola, Laurent Dubreuil and Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu) took the bronze medal in 1:24.23.
The Netherlands stay on top of the World Cup ranking with 228 points, followed by Russia (2000 and Canada (192).
Russia on their way to Team Sprint gold ©International Skating Union (ISU)