20 Nov. 2011 – Chelyabinsk, RUSSIA 

Racing in the first international event of the 2011-12 season, Shani added two silver medals to his career World Cup haul.

In the competition’s opening race, Shani’s 1500m time of 1:46.27 was outpaced only by that of his pair, The Netherlands’ Stefan Groothuis (1:45.70). Last season Shani won the overall 1500m World Cup crown despite winning only two of six races. He also owns the 1500m World Record of 1:41.04, set in 2009.

In the 1000m contest, the reigning World Champion and World Record Holder finished in 1:09.48, which wasn’t quite fast enough to make the podium. Last year Shani won three of his five 1000m World Cup starts but finished third in the Overall standings.

In typical fashion, however, Shani put a disappointing 1000m result behind him and helped pace the U.S. team to a strong 2nd place finish in the 3000m Team Pursuit event less than an hour later. Last season Shani helped the U.S. team to its first ever World Championship win.

Although a gold medal eluded him in the opening World Cup event, this season Shani looks to move in to second on the all-time World Cup victory list. Standing at 45 career victories, he needs only four wins to surpass sprint legends Dan Jansen (46) and Uwe-Jens Mey (48).

The ISU World Cup circuit moves to Kazakhstan Nov. 25-27, followed by The Netherlands Dec. 2-4. Shani then heads home to prepare for the U.S. Championships in Milwaukee, Dec. 13-18.

[Photo by Reuters]