- Berlin, Germany
Peter Michael beat Jorrit Bergsma in the Men’s 5000m but Ted-Jan Bloemen claimed gold in the distance on day 2 of the ISU Speed Skating World Cup in Berlin. Nao Kodaira collected her second 500m gold, Kjeld Nuis won the Men’s 1000m and Ireen Wüst the Ladies’ 1500m.
Another 500m gold for Kodaira
Nao Kodaira put herself forward as the lady to beat in the 500m at the World Single Distance Championships in Gangneung (KOR) in February. On Saturday in Berlin, the 31-year-old Japanese sprinter took her sixth 500m World Cup gold of the season.
Just like the day before Kodaira was the only lady to beat the 38 second barrier. Czech Karolina Erbanova claimed silver again. The European Sprint Champion finished in 38.28. Both Kodaira and Erbanova were slightly slower than the day before, and the gap was about the same: 0.69 on Friday and 0.71 on Saturday.
Russian Olga Fatkulina, who took bronze in 38.36 on Friday, clocked a disappointing 38.79 to end up eighth on Saturday. America’s Heather Bergsma grabbed Saturday’s bronze in 38.43, after coming sixth in the 500m and winning the 1000m on Friday.
Kodaira strengthened her lead on top of the 500m World Cup ranking with 600 points. Her compatriot Maki Tsuji, who finished fourth in 38.44 on Saturday, is second with 505 and China’s Jing Yu, absent in Berlin, is third with 452 points.
Nuis man to beat in 1000m
Dutch Kjeld Nuis won all four World Cup 1000m races in which he started this season. On Saturday in Berlin, he also broke Shani Davis’ 2009 track record (1:08.53) when he crossed the line in 1:08.25. Nuis and compatriot Kai Verbij were the only skaters to break the 1:09 barrier at the Sportforum.
Norwegian Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen came third in 1:09.03, to claim his first career individual World Cup medal. Lorentzen beat Shani Davis (USA) in the second last pair to set the fastest time at that moment. The American clocked 1:09.21 and ended up fourth.
Nuis retained his lead in the 1000m World Cup ranking with 400 points, followed by Canada’s Vincent De Haitre (275 points), who came sixth with 1:09.28 in Berlin. Verbij is third in the ranking with 270 points.
First career 5000m gold for Bloemen
Ted-Jan Bloemen claimed his first World Cup win in the 5000m. The Canadian World Record holder in the 10,000m stopped the clock at 6:15.84, to beat home skater Patrick Beckert in the penultimate pair. Beckert set 6:19.34 to take fifth place. New Zealand’s Peter Michael and Dutch Jorrit Bergsma challenged Bloemen’s time in the final pair, but had to settle for silver and bronze respectively.
Bergsma, who leads the 10,000/5000m World Cup ranking, took the lead early on, skating under 30 second laps until the 3800m split. Michael trailed by 2.46 seconds, but fought back in the last three laps. While Bergsma had to pay for his early effort, Michael used his reserves to catch up and pass the Dutchman in the final lap to finish in 6:16.65. Bergsma clocked 6:17.99. Dutchman Douwe de Vries came fourth in 6:18.37.
Both Michael and Bergsma already won a World Cup 5000m race this season, but Michael had not beaten Bergsma in the same competition yet. Despite losing to Michael, Bergsma kept the lead in the 10,000/5000m World Cup ranking with 330 points. Michael follows with 310 points and Bloemen is third with 293 points.
Wüst claims back-to-back win
Ireen Wüst has found back her winning ways in the 1500m. After she took her first World Cup 1500m gold since 2014 in Heerenveen last December, she claimed a back-to-back win in Berlin on Saturday. Marrit Leenstra got silver and climbed to the top of the 1500m World Cup ranking. Martina Sáblíková won bronze in Berlin.
Wüst managed to keep her pace throughout the race and finished in 1:55.85 with a final lap in 31.4. Bergsma and Leenstra both started faster and they were still ahead of Wüst at the 1100m split. Leenstra managed to beat Bergsma, who couldn’t keep up and set a 33 second final lap, but Leenstra’s 32.1 was still not enough to keep an edge over Wüst. Sáblíková had the fastest final lap with 30.7, but she lost too much time in the first 700 meters.
Both Leenstra and Wüst passed Bergsma on top of the 1500m World Cup ranking. Leenstra, who did not win a race yet, has 370 points, Wüst 350 points and Bergsma comes third with 330 points.