Lee Sang-hwa breaks world speedskating record in women's 500

South Korea's Lee Sang-hwa finished in 36.57 seconds at Friday's World Cup speedskating meet at the Utah Olympic Oval.
Todd Korl/Getty Images

KEARNS, Utah (AP) -- South Korea's Lee Sang-hwa broke the world record in the women's 500 meters Friday in a World Cup speedskating meet at the Utah Olympic Oval, finishing in 36.57 seconds.

China's Wang Beixing was second in 36.85, Heather Richardson finished third in a U.S.-record 36.97.

More fast times followed on the track known as the "fastest ice on earth." American Shani Davis, the world-record holder in the men's 1,500, won the event in 1:41.98.

"It's a big challenge not to get too excited," said Davis, the two-time gold medalist who skated his fastest 1,500 since setting the world record in 2009. "It's a big step in the right direction. I think everything's a go. We're looking good heading into Sochi."

Fellow American Brian Hansen was second in 1:42.16, followed by the Netherlands' Koen Verweij in 1:42.28.

Canada's Gilmore Junio and Japan's Joji Kato tied in the 500 at 34.258. Dutchman Michel Mulder was a hundredth of a second behind at 34.26.

The Czech Republic's Martina Sablikova won the women's 3,000 in 3:57.79. Germany's Claudia Pechstein was second in 3:57.80, and the Netherlands' Antoinette de Jong followed in 3:59.49.

The three-day meet will end Sunday at the Utah Olympic Oval, also the site of the U.S. Olympic Trials on Dec. 27-Jan 1.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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