December 12, 2014

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (AP) Martina Sablikova handed Olympic champion Ireen Wust her first 3,000-meter defeat of the speedskating World Cup season Friday in a thrilling head-to-head confrontation.

Wust led through most of the race, but Sablikova of the Czech Republic, who finished second in Sochi, saved her strength and took the lead in the final lap to finish in 4 minutes, 2.84 seconds. Wust was second in 4:03.14 and fellow Dutchwoman Carlijn Achtereekte came third in 4:05.95.

In the first race of the women's 500 meters, Olympic champion Lee Sang-hwa edged Nao Kodaira by one hundredth of a second with a finishing time of 37.69. Judith Hesse of Germany was third.

Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia won the men's 500 in 34.63 seconds, beating Artur Was of Poland, who won both 500s last week in Berlin, into second. Laurent Dubreuil of Canada was third.

South Korea won the men's team pursuit to take the season title in the event, finishing in 3:44.57. Olympic champion the Netherlands was second, four tenths of a second slower. Norway was third.

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