Richardson, Kato win World Cup speedskating races

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Heather Richardson of the U.S. greets fans after winning the women\'s 1000 meters race of the ISU Speedskating World Cup at Thialf stadium in Heerenveen, northern Netherlands, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)


HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (AP) — American speedskater Heather Richardson won the women's 1,000 meters at the first World Cup meet of the season Sunday, and Joji Kato of Japan captured the men's 500 race.

Richardson finished in 1 minute, 15.27 seconds to beat Hong Zhang of China and Lotte van Beek of the Netherlands.

Kato's time was 34.98 seconds to top the overall standings in the event through two races after his fifth-place finish Saturday. He was followed Sunday by Dutch skater Jan Smeekens and Mo Tae-Bum of South Korea.

Maurice Vriend of the Netherlands won the men's 1,500 in 1 minute, 46.13 seconds. Norway's Havard Bokko and Sverre Lunde Pedersen were next.