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Dutch duo de Jong and Kramer delight in Heerenveen

Dutch duo de Jong and Kramer delight in Heerenveen
By Sportsbeat

13/11/2017 at 06:46Updated 13/11/2017 at 06:50

Antoinette de Jong was on top of the world after clinching a maiden individual World Cup gold on home ice in Heerenveen.

The 22-year-old Dutch skater powered to the women's 3000m title in 4:03.53 to secure the Netherlands' first gold medal of the 2017-18 ISU World Cup and send the home fans into raptures.

Russia's Natalia Voronina secured silver and Canadian Ivanie Blondin bronze, but the night belonged to de Jong, who was grinning from ear to ear after the race.

"I think nobody has ever been so excited about winning a World Cup than me today," she said.

"Of course this is great. I feel great and I'm very confident about the rest of the season, but this is just one weekend.

"I have to perform next weekend again and there are many races yet to come."

Sven Kramer gave the Dutch support another reason to smile when he saw off Ted-Jan Bloemen of Canada in the final pairing of the 5000m to win gold.

The Canadian had to settle for silver, while Sverre Lunde Pedersen took bronze.

"It was a good race," said 31-year-old Kramer. "We were level with four laps to go and then I got a sign that I was a second above schedule so I was able to shift gear."

Russian Pavel Kulizhnikov becoming the first man to skate under 1:08.00 at the Championships, winning the 1000m in 1:07.97. Remarkably, the Russian powerhouse did so while coming back from a groin problem.

The home support cheered Dutchman Kai Verbij to silver and Norway's Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen completed the podium positions.

"I suffered from a groin injury and the 500m was harder for me than the 1000m, because the 500m is more explosive," Kulizhnikov said. "I'm in good shape now, but I still need a little more time to recover."

Japan's Nao Kodaira underlined her dominance once more as she eased to her third gold medal of the weekend.

The 31-year-old added women's 1000m gold to her two 500m triumphs, with compatriot Miho Takagi finishing second to take silver, Dutch athlete Jorien ter Mors crossing the line in third.

In the men's team sprint, the Canadian threesome of Laurent Dubreuil, Alexandre St-Jean and Vincent De Haître stormed home ahead of Norway and Russia, who took respective gold and silver.

Russian trio Angelina Golikova, Olga Fatkulina and Elizavita Kazelina took the glory in the women's event, with Norway runners-up once more through Anne Gulbrandsen, Hege Bøkko and Ida Njåtun, with Kim Hyun-Yung, Park Seung-Hi and Kim Min Sun coming in third for South Korea.

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