World Junior Speed Skating Championships - Preview

- Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki will host the World’s fastest junior speed skaters for the annual ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships on February 17-19. The Juniors have to prepare for tough conditions, because the event will be held at the artificial outdoor rink of Oulunkylä Sport Park. The juniors already skated a World Cup leg on the outdoor rink of Collalbo, Italy, this year.

Allround, single distances, Mass Start and Teams

The Junior World Championships combine separate distance World Titles and Allround titles for both Men and Ladies. The Men’s Allround Title goes to the skater with the lowest total of points after adding up the 500m, 1000m, 1500m and 5000m. The Ladies’s Allround Title is for the best skater in the combined 500m, 1000m, 1500m and 3000m.

Apart from the separate distance and Allround titles, both the Men and the Ladies’ will compete for a Mass Start World Title and two team competitions. The Team sprint is a race over three laps and the Team Pursuit is a race over 8 laps for the Men and 6 laps for the Ladies. National teams always consist of thee skaters.

Battle between sprint and endurance in Ladies’ tournament

The Ladies’ Allround championships looks to become a fight between sprinter Daria Kachanova (RUS) and long distance specialist Sanne In ’t Hof (NED). The Russian, who also won last year’s 500m Junior World Title, grabbed this season’s 500m and 1000m World Cup last week, whereas the Dutch grabbed the 1500m and 3000m World titles.

In the Team Sprint, Kachanova looks to add another title. She already was a member

of last year’s golden Russian team. In this year’s combined Team Sprint and Team Pursuit World Cup, Russia ended in third place, thanks to two silver medals in the Team Sprint. Netherlands won the World Cup, thanks to gold in the Team Sprint in Collalbo and in the Team Pursuit at the last leg in Erfurt. Poland is another contender for Team medals, having won silver in this year’s combined World Cup ranking. Japan won the first World Cup Team Sprint in Minsk this year and will also look for silverware in Helsinki.

Firework expected from Chinese sprinters

In the men’s events favorites come from Korea, China and the Netherlands. Hyun Min Oh won both the 1500m and the Mass Start in Erfurt last week and also grabbed the World Cup in both events. He is a candidate for the Allround Title in Helsinki, but Dutch Marwin Talsma, who won the 3000m World Cup this season, is a strong contender too. In the sprint distances, firework is expected from China’s Tao Yang, who won this year’s 500m World Cup, and his compatriot Yanan Jin, who won the 1000m World Cup.

In the Team Sprint event Korea is the biggest favorite, having won both World Cup races in this event, with Japan and Norway coming second. The Netherlands won the combined Team Sprint and Team Pursuit World Cup, thanks to their victory in the Erfurt Team Pursuit ahead of Japan and China.

For full results of the ISU Junior World Speed Skating Championships 2017 please refer to http://www.isuresults.eu/

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