Fredricks wins, sets rink record in Germany
ERFURT, Germany Janesville’s Tucker Fredricks beat World Cup leader Yu Fengtong of China to win the 500-meter race at the Erfurt oval last Saturday.
Fredricks became the first speedskater to break 35 seconds at the oval when he clocked 34.91, beating Yu’s course record by 0.12 seconds.
Yu finished in 35.00 seconds and Jan Smeekens of the Netherlands was third in 35.26.
The victory moved Fredricks up to fourth in the overall standings.
“It’s good to see that things are coming around,” Fredricks said. “It was a really solid weekend, so I’m really pretty happy right now.”
Fredricks finished fourth in Friday’s event, then leaped to the top of the charts Saturday.
“Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect since (Fredricks’) left groin has really been tender from the last few weeks of hard racing,” said Ryan Shimabukuro, the sprint coach for the U.S. Speedskating team. “I’m really proud of how he stayed mentally tough for this race.”
Fredricks will be back in action this weekend at the World All-Around Championships in Hamar, Norway. The following weekend will take him to Heerenveen, Netherlands, for a World Cup meet. The World Cup finals are set for March 6-8 in Salt Lake City.