OBIHIRO, JAPAN – 12 December 2010

Two-time Olympic Champion Shani Davis had his 1000m World Cup winning streak snapped but climbed closer to regaining the overall World Cup lead.

After opting to skip two World Cup 1000m races in China last weekend, Shani skated to another gold medal in the first of two 1000m races in Japan, crossing in 1:09.56, a quarter second ahead of second place finisher Kyou-Hyuk Lee of Korea.

The 1000m victory was Shani’s 12th straight in the ISU World Cup dating back to early 2009 and his all-time-leading 32nd career World Cup win at the distance. Factoring in non-World Cup competitions, it was his 15th straight 1000m victory, including at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, where he successfully defended the 1000m title he won at the 2006 Games.

In the Japan competition’s second 1000m, Shani defeated Lee racing head-to-head in the final pair, but both were edged out by an unlikely competitor, Germany’s Samuel Schwartz, who skated 1:09.98 to Davis’ second-place 1:10.15.� The German’s previous best World Cup 1000m finish had been 4th place.

With 180 points gained in Japan, Shani moved to 2nd Overall (from 4th) on the 1000m WC leader board and now trails Lee by just 22 points in the season standings. He’ll have a chance to cut into the Korean’s lead when the World Cup season picks up again in early 2011.

Shani now heads home to prepare for the U.S. Championships, Dec. 30-Jan. 4, in Salt Lake City, where he’ll be racing to earn spots in multiple 2011 ISU World Championships.

[Photo by Getty Images]