ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating 2013/14 Review

- Bjugn, Norway

73 Ladies and 119 Men participated in the Junior World Cup Speed Skating 2013/14 series which concluded last weekend in Bjugn (NOR). The World Cup was spread over four events, with the first in Zakopane (POL) which was a regional competition for European skaters, the second event was the regional competition for Asian skaters in Tomakomai (JPN). The third event was for all skaters in Innsbruck (AUT and the series ended with the Junior World Cup Final, where points worth one and half times more were up for grabs. Both ladies and men competed over 500m, 1000, 1500 and 3000m, the Mass Start and the Team Sprint.

Ladies

Vanessa Bittner (AUT) won the 500m with 250 points, that she earned by winning the last two 500m races. Bente van den Berge (NED) finished in second place with 230 points, and third was Yelizaveta Kazelina (RUS) with 181. Although Sanneke de Neeling (NED) won the first race, she ranks fourth with 180 points.

Melissa Wijfje (NED) was the queen of the Junior World Cup this year, winning three distances. The first was the 1000m with 320 points after two victories and a third place finish. Sanneke de Neeling finished second twice and fourth in the Final which gave her a total of 250 points and a second place in the final rankings. Vanessa Bittner won once and finished third in the Final but missed the first race and ranks third with 205 points.

Wijfje also won the 1500m with 320 points and lead a Dutch trio. De Neeling accumulated 285 points with one win, a second and third place finish and Antoinette de Jong (NED) got two second place finishes and 200 points. With 184 points Sofie Karoline Haugen (NOR) finished fourth in the 1500m. She also finished fourth in the 1000m with 164 points and fifth in the 3000m with 167 points.

In the 3000m, Wijfje won all her races and collected 350 points. Yelizavety Kazelina finished second with 240 and Jade van der Molen (NED) third with 235 points. Antoinette de Jong missed the first race and finished second in the others and ranks fourth with 200.

After winning last two mass-start races, Bittner the sprinter also won the World Cup Mass Start with 250 points. In second is Mei Han (CHN) with 212 points and De Neeling is third with 206. The Dutch won the Team Events (Team Pursuit and Team Sprint) ahead of Germany and Norway.

Men

Daidai Ntab (NED) was the strongest 500m skater in the men’s field, winning the last two races and gaining 250 points. Piotr Michalski (POL) finished in second place with 226 points and Johann Jørgen Sæves (NOR) was third with 215. Although Kai Verbij (NED) won the first race and got a second place finish, he did not participate in the Final and accumulated 180 points and ranks fourth.

Although he did not win a single race Arvin Wijsman (NED) competed in all three competitions and gathered 244 points winning the 1000m World Cup. Michalski ranks second again with 220 points. Joel Dufter (GER) won the last race and with 208 points ranks third and overtook Kai Verbij (NED) who had won the first two races but ranks fourth with 200 points.

In the 1500m, Patrick Roest (NED) participated in three races which included one victory winning the World Cup with 270 points. Wijsman participated in two races and ended second with 190. Following in third is another Dutchman Verbij with 180 who also won one race, but missed the final. In fourth is Armin Hager (AUT). Taron Kondo (JPN) won the last race but missed the others.

Roest is also top of the 3000m leader board with 330 points. In second is Nils van der Poel (SWE) with 250 and third with 245 points is Willem Hoolwerf (NED). Yiming Liu (CHN) won the race last January in Innsbruck however he ranks fifth.

Just like his teammate Vanessa Bittner, Hager won the mass start with 290 points and by winning the second race he became the first Austrian man with a Junior World Cup victory. In second place is Roest with 254 who won the last race and in third is Viktor Hald Thorup (DEN) with 197.

The Dutch won the Team events with 330 points, ahead of Russia with 200 and Sweden with 166 points.

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