Davis retains men's 1,000m speed skating Olympic title

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Defending champion Shani Davis of the Unitd States snatched the men's 1,000m speed skating title here on Wednesday to become the first skater to win the event in two consecutive Olympic Games.

The 27-year-old Davis, who became the first black Olympic champion in an individual event when he stormed to take the 1,000m gold at the Turin Olympic Games, blitzed in one minute and 08.94 seconds to retain his title.

Mo Tae-Bum, who brought South Korea its first gold medal in an event outside short track on Monday, came to second in 1:09.12, beating Chad Hedrick of the United States into third in 1:09.32.

Davis said: "I'm tired. Tough race but I was able to do it. Just to be out there and defend the title was truly amazing."

"I'm extremely satisfied because, before, I was attacking. I was on the offensive four years ago and now, in 2010, I have been on the defensive. I was able to defend my title from four years ago," he said.

No man had won back-to-back Olympic 1,000m speed skating and no man had won consecutive Olympic titles at any distance since Norway's Johann Olaf Koss did it at 1,500m in 1992 and 1994.

Davis did it after finishing 12th in the men's 5,000m and withdrew from the men's 500m after the first race.

"I learned not to pay attention to things that are negative and, obviously, it was the right thing to do, because it helped me in my speed. So, for me, it was perfectly fine," Davis said.

IOC President Jacques Rogge also watched the race together with a crowd of 6,600 spectators.

On Thursday, Candian Christine Nesbitt, Annette Gerritsen of the Netherlands and teammate Margot Boer will be favourite to take the women's 1,000m gold.

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