In spectacular fashion, Shani Davis claimed his fourth straight World Cup 1500m Overall crown at the ISU World Cup Final.

As he has done so many times before in his career, Shani saved his best performance for when the pressure was greatest.

Racing in the final pairing in front of a raucous Dutch crowd with a Dutch skater at the top of the leaderboard, Davis stayed poised around the final lap, blowing past U.S. teammate Trevor Marsicano to finish in 1:45.92, barely two tenths ahead of runner-up Stefan Groothuis of The Netherlands.

The 1500m victory was only Shani’s second of the 2010-2011 ISU World Cup circuit — he won the season opener here in November — but it propelled him to the top of the season point standings as many of the other leaders faltered, including Marsicano, who came into the event ahead in the overall.

Shani’s 13th career World Cup 1500m win reinforces his status as one of the all-time king’s of speedskating’s most prestigious distance. He becomes the first man to win four World Cup 1500m titles, a reign that began in the 2007-2008 season.

It was Shani’s eighth World Cup title, including four 1000m crowns, surpassing legendary U.S. sprinter Dan Jansen’s career total of seven. Now with 45 individual World Cup wins, Shani moved within one of Jansen’s U.S. men’s record.

In the 1000m Final, Shani earned Bronze on the day and in the Overall. After skipping two World Cup 1000m races earlier this season, the points gap was simply too large between him and Final winner Stefan Groothuis, who also took the Overall, and recently-crowned World Sprint Champion Kyou-Hyuk Lee of Korea, who took second.

Shani will have to wait until next year to go for his fifth 1000m World Cup title, which would tie him with Canadian Jeremy Wotherspoon for most all-time.� He is already the runaway career 1000m World Cup victory leader with 32 wins since his debut in the distance in 2005.

Shani’s season concludes next weekend in Inzell, Germany, host of the 2011 World Single Distance Championship. There, Shani looks to defend his 1500m title and regain the 1000m title that he last won in 2008.

[Photo by Martin de Jong |more photos in the Photo Gallery]