Goetz Strikes For First World Cup Gold During Big US Weekend In Poland
by Paul D. Bowker
Paired against an Olympic Champion, Kimi Goetz raced to victory in the Women’s 1000m on Sunday in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland, to capture her first World Cup individual Gold medal.
The U.S. Olympic long track skater posted a time of 1 minute, 16.00 seconds to finish 0.18 seconds ahead of Japan’s Miho Takagi, a seven-time Olympic medalist who won the 1000m last year in Beijing. Joining Goetz on the podium was two-time U.S. Olympic medalist Brittany Bowe in third.
“It was my second time ever being paired with Miho,” Goetz said, “so I was excited to see what I could do head-to-head with her. Obviously, she’s an incredible competitor.”
Bowe, who won a Bronze medal in the same event in Beijing for her first individual Olympic medal, finished third in 1:16.43 to win her first World Cup individual medal of this season.
“It feels really good,” Bowe said. “I’m always gunning for that top position, but to share the podium today with Kimi, with her first World Cup win after a spectacular year so far, is really exciting.”
Their medals were among six won by U.S. skaters, including five by American women, over three days of racing in Poland.
Goetz began the weekend by winning a Bronze medal in the Women’s 500m Friday with a time of 38.11 seconds. She was also the top U.S. finisher in the 1500m on Saturday, taking sixth with a time of 1:59.19.
Olympic Bronze medalists Ethan Cepuran, Emery Lehman and Casey Dawson clinched the World Cup season title in Men’s Team Pursuit with a second-place finish of 3:42.75. The trio has won two Gold medals and a Silver medal in three World Cup Team Pursuit races this season. This time around, they lost the Gold medal to Norway by .05 seconds.
“Losing to them, we don’t consider it really like a defeat because they’re really good,” Lehman said. “It doesn’t really break our confidence. We know we’re really strong as a team. If anything, it’s good to be tested. It’s good to lose every once in a while and not think that you’re unbeatable, which I don’t think any of us think we are.”
Bowe added another Bronze medal with teammates Mia Manganello Kilburg and Giorgia Birkeland in the Women’s Team Pursuit. They finished with a time of 3:04.01, trailing Canada and the Netherlands.
Manganello Kilburg added a Bronze medal in the Women’s Mass Start on Sunday. She finished in 9:34.61, just .38 seconds behind winner Marijke Groenewoud of the Netherlands.
Cepuran nearly won an individual medal in the Men’s Mass Start, placing fourth with a time of 8:12.42. He finished 11th in the 5000m.
Olympic Champion Erin Jackson placed fifth in the 500m with a time of 38.23 seconds, finishing just 0.12 seconds behind Goetz.
The World Cup tour remains in Tomaszow Mazowiecki for the season’s final event, Feb. 17-19.