18 December 2011 – Milwaukee USA
Shani Davis is skating on solid ice again.
On the heels of a sub-par fall World Cup campaign, the two-time Olympic Champion and nine-time World Champion got some of his mojo back, picking up more golden hardware from the U.S. National Championships at the Pettit Ice Center here.
In a much anticipated showdown of the country’s top middle-distance speedskaters, Shani dominated the 1500m. Following his 1000m victory two days prior, Shani put the pedal down for the “race of kings”, completing three-and-three-quarters laps of the Pettit oval in 1:45.19, more than two full seconds ahead of runners-up Jonathan Kuck (1:47.2) and Brian Hansen (1:47.4), who couldn’t match Shani’s speed or finishing power.
In the Championships’ 1000m, Shani topped the field by nearly one second, missing his own track record by the narrowest of margins. Davis’ 1:08.42 was only .09 off his 2005 record of 1:08.33 and nearly a full second ahead of second-place Brian Hansen’s 1:09.29.
Davis already claimed the titles of 2011-2012 U.S. 1000m and 1500m champion earlier this Fall in Salt Lake City at the U.S. Single Distance Championships.
On Tuesday, Shani earned silver in the Allround 5000m competition (7:30.82), and followed up with bronze in the Sprint competition’s two 500m contests on Wednesday (71.20 combined), finishing second overall in the final sprint standings to pure-sprinter Tucker Fredricks.
Shani also earned berths on the U.S. winter World Cup squad in all distances.
Shani skipped the competition’s grueling 10,000 meters, passing on a chance to defend the U.S. All-Around title he claimed last year in Salt Lake City.
Following the Championships Shani prepares for the second half of the World Cup series and the season’s ISU Championships.
[Photo by Ryan Shimabukuro]