Speedskater Shani Davis is heavy favorite in 1,000

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 11, 2014 at 5:50 pm •  Published: February 11, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — History awaits Shani Davis in the 1,000 meters, and the American speedskater relishes the opportunity to burnish his Olympic legacy with a record third straight victory.

Davis could become the first male speedskater to win the same event in three consecutive games when he competes on Wednesday. Already the owner of four Olympic medals, Davis would tie Eric Heiden and Chad Hedrick for the most by an American male speedskater if he gets on the podium.

Here are five things to watch for in the men's 1,000 at Adler Arena:

DAVIS' TRIPLE: The 31-year-old skater from Chicago calls the 1,000 "my baby," and Davis has been focused on defending his title since his victory in Vancouver four years ago. He won three gold and three bronze medals in the last six single-distance world championships.

"The 1,000 is going to be an intense competition, a lot of people want to win," he said.

DAVIS' RIVALS: Among his rivals are medal contenders Michel Mulder of the Netherlands and current world champion Denis Kuzin of Kazakhstan.

Mulder is looking to join Heiden as the only male skaters to sweep the 500 and 1,000 races at the same Olympics.

Kuzin would be just the second male athlete from his country to win a medal at the Winter Games after cross country skier Vladimir Smirnov, who earned four medals during his career.

Other top skaters to watch are 2010 silver medalist Mo Tae-bum of South Korea, Denny Morrison of Canada and American Brian Hansen. The other two Americans competing are Jonathan Garcia and Joey Mantia.

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