Sáblíková also won bronze in the five kilometers in Calgary – ČT sport – Czech Television

Sáblíková dominated the five-kilometer track continuously at the World Championships from 2007 to 2019, winning ten gold medals. In the following years, she added silver and two bronzes. In total, with the World Cup, she won her 150th place on the podium during major events.

“I feel like I succeeded again, because it was an exciting race. I'm not a statistics person, but I really appreciate it when I succeed,” said Sáblíková.

Coach Petar Novák's protégé started the fourth of six rounds with defending champion Schoutenová, who dominated Thursday's triple at the venue of the 1988 Olympic Games. By then, it was leading Canadian Isabelle Weidemann was the only one to break the seven-minute mark, but Schoutenová and Sáblíková both beat her.

Schoutenová clocked 6:48.98, with three-time Olympic champion Sáblíková reaching the finish line less than three seconds later. “Even though Irene left me in the face-off, I enjoyed the ride, it was great. The fans were amazing. A lot of Czechs who live in Calgary came. I got an incredible ovation before, during and after the race,” said the Czech speed skater.

However, in the next heat, Beune, 24, improved her personal best by more than five seconds, to 6:47.72, and after the team pursuit race she was happy with her second gold medal in the this year's championship. She has yet to win an individual medal at the Senior World Championships.

The bronze position of Sáblíková, who won the World Cup in Stavanger in December, was threatened for a long time by the Norwegian Ragne Wiklundová. However, this year's overall SP long distance winner ultimately lost to the native of Nové Město in Moravia by 58 hundredths of a second, and after last year's silver she came up empty this time.

“She had an incredible race, she rode very well. I didn't think I could beat her anymore. When she finished, I was surprised she didn't finish. But five is completely different from three and that last round it hurts terribly,” said Sáblíková.

Sáblíková won her fifth world championship medal on the four-hundred-meter ice oval in Calgary. She won the all-around World Cup there twice and added three bronze medals.

“I'm really very satisfied. After what I experienced after Salt Lake, I wasn't very good,” she remembers of her failed performance at the World Cup. “Also, I have such bruises from the skates on my left leg that it causes inflammation. My ankle is so terribly swollen that I'm glad I can fit in the skates. After the triple, it swelled up again. Yesterday I was on the ice for only a short time, I am very happy that I was able to start today,” said Sáblíková.

John Robinson

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