Davis, Richardson win 1,000 at speedskating trials

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm •  Published: December 29, 2013
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KEARNS, Utah (AP) — Shani Davis calls the 1,000 meters "one of my babies."

He'll be heading to Sochi looking to win a third straight gold medal.

The two-time defending Olympic champion captured another title in his signature event, edging Brian Hansen by a hundredth of a second at the U.S. speedskating trials Sunday.

At age 31 and likely preparing for his final Winter Games, Davis is already assured of being remembered as one of the greats of the sport.

He's not ready to slow down just yet.

"I'm the older brother to all these young guys," he said. "I'm just trying to keep them at bay. They're nipping at me."

Davis has locked up at least two events in Sochi, also claiming a spot in the 500, and is favored in the still-to-come 1,500, the other of his "babies" and the race that produced silver medals in Turin and Vancouver. In addition, there's a chance he'll take part in the team pursuit, a race he passed on at previous Olympics because he didn't want to affect preparations for his individual events.

After gliding along patiently on the backstretch, hands clasped behind his back during a two-minute television commercial break that delayed the start of the next-to-last pairing, Davis powered around the final turn for a time of 1 minute, 7.52 seconds.

Hansen came up just short in the final group, crossing the stripe in 1:07.53.

"I'm happy I came across the line first," Davis said. "Did you see how close that was?"

Hansen respects what Davis means to the sport, but he's eager to make his mark in Sochi.

"It's exciting for me," Hansen said. "I'm happy for Shani that he's going for such a great achievement. But at the same time, I'm hoping I can put down my best race come Sochi. That's the nature of sport."

Davis relishes the competition from a teammate.

"It's only going to make us stronger," he said. "They're pushing me. I'm pushing them. We're all striving to be the best we can be, and you saw it today."

On the women's side, Heather Richardson beat Brittany Bowe in the 1,000 — a repeat of their 1-2 finish in the 500 on Saturday. The other two projected spots on the Olympic team went to Sugar Todd and Kelly Gunther, the latter completing her comeback from a gruesome ankle injury shortly after she just missed making the Vancouver Olympics.



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