Home favourites Kjeld Nuis and Ireen Wüst won the respective men’s and women’s 1,500 metres titles on day two of the International Skating Union (ISU) Speed Skating World Cup at the Thialf Arena in Heerenveen.
Victory for Wüst, who took a break after the season’s opening two World Cups in Nagano and Harbin, was the Dutch skater's first in a 1,500m World Cup race since 2014 and came in a time of 1 min 55.34sec.
The United States’ Heather Bergsma finished runner-up in 1:55.99 while Japan’s Miho Takagi came third in 1:56.08.
"It’s good to win again after two years, but I’ve been two seconds faster in Thialf in the past," said Wüst, who missed last weekend’s World Cup in Astana.
"I’ve always taken a break after the first two World Cup to train in the sun and work on the basics.
"When I returned to the ice last week, I felt I lacked a little speed, but that did not worry me.
"That’s the advantage of being 30 and growing grey hairs, you know from experience that things will turn around."
Nuis, meanwhile, won the men’s 1,500m despite suffering from a sore shoulder he sustained after crashing into a tree with a mountain bike at a training camp in Italy last week.
The Dutchman clocked 1:45.11 to beat Russia’s Denis Yuskov, second in 1:45.41, and compatriot Patrick Roest, third in 1:46.42.
"It went well technically and I was able to push through towards the end," said Nuis.
"I’m happy with a 1:45 time, but pretty soon it will be a 1:44."
American Joey Mantia, who finished fifth today, remains top of the World Cup rankings with 270 points.
The 30-year-old also competed in the men’s mass start and came away with victory in 8:05.60 after a solo effort in the last two laps.
South Korea’s Lee Seung-hoon won the bunch sprint for the silver medal in 8:05.94, ensuring he retains his World Cup lead with 262 points.
The Netherlands’ Evert Hoolwerf grabbed the bronze in 8:06.40.
In the women’s mass start, South Korea’s Kim Bo-reum sprinted to gold in 8:31.73 as The Netherlands’ Irene Schouten finished second in 8:31.82 and Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida completed the podium in 8:31.83.
A second World Cup title of the season in the discipline sees Kim climb to the top of the overall standings with 340 points.
The women’s team sprint produced the exact same result as the first of the season in Nagano as Japan took gold ahead of Russia and The Netherlands to stay top of the World Cup standings with 200 points.
A time of 1:27.55 proved good enough for the Japanese with Russia clocking 1:28.68 and the Dutch posting a time of 1:28.80.
The US won the men’s team sprint in 1:19.97 after not having raced in the first event in Nagano.
Canada, who won in Nagano, came second in 1:20.29 and lead the World Cup standings with 180 points.
Poland took the bronze medal in 1:20.58.