Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - China's Zhang Hong set the early pace that the streaking Dutchwomen could not overcome.

Zhang's time on Thursday in the women's 1,000-meter speed skating event was less than a second better than a pair of Netherlands skaters, giving the 25- year-old the gold after she just missed out on a medal earlier in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Zhang was part of the seventh pair with Canada's Christine Nesbitt, the defending gold medalist in this event, and shocked a bit with a time of 1 minute and 14.02 seconds.

Having already bettered Nesbitt, who clocked in at 1:15.62 and finished ninth overall, Zhang figured to be challenged later by Americans Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe as well as Dutchwomen Ireen Wust and Margot Boer.

And while Richardson and Bowe both underperformed, Wust and Boer found their way to the medal podium but behind Zhang, who had never before finished above seventh place in this event at the World Single Distances Championships.

Wust, who earned gold in the 3,000 meters on Sunday, took the silver with a time of 1:14.69. That was 0.67 seconds behind Zhang.

Wust did knock fellow Dutch skater Boer down to third place. Boer, who also won bronze here in the 500 meters, clocked in at 1:14.90.

It was a disappointing showing for the Americans, who have not captured a women's speed skating medal since the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. Richardson finished seventh at 1:15.23, while Bowe was eighth.

South Korea's Sang Hwa Lee won gold in the women's 500 meters in record time, but came in 12th in this event, while Russian Olga Fatkulina was fourth with a time of 1:15.08.

Fatkulina won silver in Sochi in the 500 meters and came in as the defending 2013 World Singles Distances Championships in this event.