China's Gao Tingyu, a bronze medalist at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, crushed the track record of 34.265 seconds in winning the men's 500m at the ISU Speed Skating World Cup in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland on Friday.
On the way to his first World Cup title, Gao gave a masterclass in the first race of Division A at 500 meters, leaving Japanese Tatsuya Shinhama and last season's champion Laurent Dubreuil from Canada behind.
"I'm very excited about my first World Cup gold," the 23-year-old said. "But the main goal this season is to make to the podium of the Beijing Olympic Winter Games."
It was also Gao's first competition led by new coach Li Yan, who took the role earlier this month.
She used to be the main coach of China's short track speed skating team and trained China's Olympic champions including Wu Dajing, Zhou Yang and Wang Meng.
Nearly 300 skaters from 35 countries and regions are taking part in the competition that inaugurated the World Cup cycle, which is part of Olympic qualifying.
The Chinese squad, now training and competing overseas for 40 days, will later travel to Norway, U.S. and Canada for World Cups to secure as many berths as possible for the Beijing Winter Olympics.
In the 500m Division B race China's Yang Tao, 24, took third place with 35.241, behind home skaters Piotr Michalski and Damian Zurek. His compatriot Liu An in fifth in 35.351.
Zhang Lina earned 16 points in the general classification after she finished fifth in the women's 500m Division B. The race was won by Pole Andzelika Wojcik with Kimi Goetz of the United States second. In the 500m Women Division A, China's Jin Jingzhu was sixth, while her compatriot Tian Ruining was seventh.
Two-time world champion Irene Schouten turned out to be the best at the women's 5,000m. The Dutch set a new track record with 4:4.009. Canadian Isabelle Weidermann and Italian Francesca Lollobrigida also stood on the podium.
Sweden's Nils van der Poel took gold in the men's 5,000m Division A, followed by Ten Jan-Bloemen and Patrick Roest.