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Category: Shani Davis

Katherine Reutter, Shani Davis strike gold for U.S. speedskating

Here's the long and short of it:

This was a golden day for the biggest current U.S. star in each of speedskating's two disciplines, long and short track.

For Shani Davis, it was more of the same.  The 1,000-meter gold in the World Single Distances Championships at Inzell, Germany, was the third of Davis' career at that distance and sixth overall in the long track meet. 

Shani1000 For Katherine Reutter, it was a first.  And the 1,500-meter gold she won in Sheffield, England, also was the first by a U.S. woman at the World Short Track Championships since Bonnie Blair a quarter century ago. 

That both Reutter and Blair are from Champaign, Ill., has inevitably led to comparisons, and Reutter does not shy from being likened to one of her sport's legendary athletes, even if Blair is better known for her long track exploits.

"It's kind of funny how people are comparing me to Bonnie -- not that it isn't deserved pretty much,'' Reutter said via telephone from England.

Davis, a Chicagoan, keeps adding to his deserved status as one of the legendary athletes in the sport.

He now has won two Olympic gold medals and the three single distance titles in the 1,000.  Friday, despite a big slip on one turn, he clocked 1 minute 8.45 seconds to beat Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands by .22.

"It was a great step in the right direction from the day before,'' Davis said in a statement from U.S. Speedskating.

Thursday, Davis had missed a fourth title at 1,500 by just four-hundredths of a second. 

"After an objective evaluation last night on the 1,500, Shani was able to execute some of the things he had been missing in his skating,'' U.S. Coach Ryan Shimabukuro said.  "You really got to see Shani skating like himself today.''

Reutter wound up skating the 1,500 exactly the opposite of how she planned.

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