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China’s Ning wins gold in men’s 1,500m final at World Cup

Nov 22 (Reuters) – China’s Ning Zhongyan stepped up preparations for the Winter Olympics that will probably be on dwelling ice in February after profitable the men’s 1,500m final at the pace skating World Cup leg in Stavanger, Norway on Sunday.

Ning gained gold in 1:45.16 and took the lead in the World Cup rankings from South Korean Kim Min-Seok, who gained bronze in Stavanger. American Joey Mantia took the silver medal to finish the rostrum.

Ning, who stepped up his recreation after final week’s silver medal in the Poland leg of the World Cup, stated the gold medal will enhance his confidence earlier than the 2022 Winter Olympics start in Beijing on Feb. 4.

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“It’s very important for me to win this medal. It gives me great confidence for the Olympic year going forward,” Ning stated in a statement.

“Yes, there’s some degree of pressure for sure with the Olympics in China but I believe athletes from other countries have pressure too.”

World Champion Thomas Krol and Olympic champion Kjeld Nuis had one more disappointing week, with the Dutchmen ending fifth and seventh, respectively.

Japan celebrated three gold medals on Sunday, due to Tatsuya Shinhama, Nao Kodaira and Miho Takagi.

Shinhama gained his second 500m race of the brand new World Cup season, although Canada’s Laurent Dubreuil held on to the lead in the rankings after ending second.

Kodaira and Takagi gained the ladies’s 500m and 1500m, respectively.

Kodaira accomplished the medal set in Stavanger, having gained 1000m bronze on Friday and 500m silver on Saturday.

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Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

Speed Skating - ISU World Cup Speed Skating Series - Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland - November 13, 2021. China's Zhongyan Ning in action during the 1500m Men's Division A REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel

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