The Netherlands again made home advantage count as they dominated the opening day of the latest ISU Speed Skating World Cup event in Heerenveen. Four of the six gold medals available on Saturday were won by Dutch skaters, with Thomas Krol topping an all-Netherlands podium in the men's 1500m ahead of Kjeld Nuis and Patrick Roest. It was Krol's second straight victory in the event following his success last weekend and his compatriot Femke Kok continued her own unbeaten World Cup campaign in the ladies' 500m, heading a podium also featuring Angelina Golikova and Vanessa Herzog. Both mass start races were won by home favourites, with Jorrit Bergsma taking the men's title in 7:43.470. Belgium's Bart Swings was more than a second further back and claimed silver just ahead of Switzerland's Livio Wenger. The ladies' mass start went down to the wire but Irene Schouten took gold after finishing two-hundredths of a second clear of Canada's Ivanie Blondin. Francesca Lollobrigida crossed the line third but was later disqualified, giving Elizaveta Golubeva the final spot on the podium. The first final of the day saw Brittany Bowe continue her fine form as she claimed her second ladies’ 1500m gold in as many weekends. The American finished clear of Dutch duo Antoinette de Jong and Ireen Wust and will hope to again assert her middle-distance authority in tomorrow's 1000m, which she also won last week. Russia's Pavel Kulizhnikov was the day's other non-Dutch winner as he earned gold in the men's 500m. Laurent Dubreuil was second while the bronze was shared between Artem Arefyev and Dai Dai Ntab after both finished in 34.588s. Six more gold medals are up for grabs on Sunday, the final day of World Cup action. Sportsbeat 2021
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