March 21, 2013
Russia's Denis Yuskov edged U.S.' Shani Davis by half a second to win the gold medal.

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- Denis Yuskov won the men's 1,500-meter title Thursday for Russia's first gold medal at the speedskating world championships since 1996.

In the women's race, 2006 Turin Olympics champion Ireen Wust of the Netherlands won her second worlds gold in the 3,000.

Yuskov finished in 1 minute, 46.32 seconds to edge Olympic 1,000 champion Shani Davis of the United States by 0.51 and compatriot Ivan Skobrev by 0.65 at the Sochi Olympics venue.

Davis, three-time world champion at the distance, led by almost a second with one lap left but Yuskov clocked the fastest time of 28.2 seconds for the last 400 meters to win.

"It was my best run this season," Yuskov said. "Some five minutes before the heat, I decided that I would make a quick start, and it helped me eventually."

Wust timed 4:02.43 to claim her seventh worlds gold. Defending champion Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic was 2.37 seconds behind, with five-time Olympic winner Claudia Pechstein of Germany 5.32 back to claim her 38th podium finish at the worlds.

The worlds continue Friday with the women's 1,500 and men's 1,000 and 5,000.

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