MILWAUKEE, USA – 24 October 2010
Shani Davis started the new speed skating season the same way he finished the last one: standing on top of the podium.
Racing in the season-opening U.S. Single Distance Championships on his home ice at the Pettit National Ice Center, Shani showed some of the form that has made him a two-time World Allround Champion and the premier all-around speed skater in the United States.
[Photo by Milwaukee Journal]
Davis dominated the 1000 and 1500 meter events with times of 1:08.73 and 1:45.59 respectively, each nearly two seconds faster than second place. He also set a PNIC personal best 35.61 in the 500 meters, just a few tenths behind U.S. sprint specialist Tucker Frederick. Showing unparalleled versatility, Davis’ record 500 meters came less than 24 hours after posting a time of 6:27 in the grueling 5000 meters, good enough for second place to U.S. distance skater Jonathan Kuck.
Shani accomplished his goal of earning a berth in Group A in every distance on the Fall World Cup circuit. “I’ve got some things to work on. I’ve been training very hard, so I’m mostly pleased with the results.”
The event also marked the beginning of a new coaching partnership. Former Olympic Champion Peter Mueller has joined Team Shani Davis for 2010-2011. The well-traveled Mueller, who has coached many of the world’s best skaters from Norway, Germany, Netherlands and the U.S., is excited and humbled to be working with the world’s best all-around speedskater. “There’s still so much he can improve on, especially in the 500 and 5000 meters….[I’ve] learned from him (over the years) and I think I can bring something to the table.”
The U.S. Single Distance Championships were Shani’s final tune up before he travels to Europe to begin the 2010-2011 ISU World Cup circuit, which opens in Herenveen, The Netherlands, Nov. 12-14, followed by events in Berlin, Norway and Japan.