Russian Pavel Kulizhnikov broke the world record for the second week in a row ©Getty Images

Russia’s Pavel Kulizhnikov became the first man to dip below the 34 second mark in the men's 500 metres as he broke his own world record on the opening day of the International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Speed Skating event in Salt Lake City.

Kulizhnikov, who served a two-year doping ban between 2012 and 2014, took advantage of the fast ice to clock a superb 33.98sec, shaving 0.02 off the time he posted at last weekend’s competition at the Canadian Olympic Oval in Calgary.

Home favourite Mitchell Whitmore did enough for silver while Canada’s William Dutton earned bronze.

The result for the Russian continues his resurgence following his suspension after he tested positive for the stimulant methylhexanamine at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Obihiro, Japan, where he had won gold in the 1,000 metres event as a 17-year-old.

He claimed that he had ingested the drug in a nasal spray for colds but was banned for two-years, meaning he missed last year's Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The 21-year-old is the current ISU World Cup leader for the 500m distance on 300 points ahead of Dutton, who is 80 adrift on 220.

Elsewhere, three-times Olympic champion and world record holder Martina Sábliková of the Czech Republic took gold in the women’s 5,000m race with a time of 6min 47.42sec ahead of Russian Natalya Voronina, with Ivanie Blondin of Canada taking home bronze.

In the B Division race, Carien Kleibeuker of The Netherlands had earlier impressed by posting the second quickest time in the history of the 5,000m event as she clocked 6:45.04.

World record holder Martina Sábliková of the Czech Republic reigned supreme in the women's 5,000m race
World record holder Martina Sábliková of the Czech Republic reigned supreme in the women's 5,000m race ©Getty Images

China’s Hong Zhang clinched victory in the women’s 500m in a national record time of 36.56 to finish ahead of American pair Brittany Bowe and Heather Richardson, who came up against each other in the penultimate pairing.

The win was her second in as many weeks after she claimed gold in the second 500m race of last weekend’s meeting in Calgary.

She heads the overall World Cup leaderboard on 280 points, with Lee Sang-hwa of South Korea second on 240 points.

Kjeld Nuis of The Netherlands was the other victor on day one as he sealed gold in the men’s 1,500m in 1:42.14 to continue the record-breaking trend as his effort was the quickest posted by a Dutch skater.

Joey Mantia of the United States edged teammate Shani Davis to silver.

“I skated so easy and unlike last week today I had the advantage of being able to be in my opponent’s back at the crossover twice,” Nuis said.

“To end up with a national record and a win, yes I’m satisfied.”

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