Miho Takagi (JPN)
Miho Takagi (JPN) carried home the Grand World Cup in style. The fresh Japanese World Allround Champion won the 1500m at the final in Minsk to conclude an outstanding season on Sunday.
Angelina Golikova (RUS) won Sunday’s 500m race, but had to leave the World cup to Vanessa Herzog (AUT). Russia took gold in the ladies’ Team Sprint, while Ayano Sato took her second World Cup gold of the season in the Mass Start, with Francesca Lollobrigida (ITA) securing the overall win with a bronze medal in the final race.
Herzog keeps Kodaira off World Cup
In the 500m three ladies’ were still aiming to keep the unbeaten, but absent World Cup leader and Olympic Champion Nao Kodaira (JPN) off the overall win. After her win on Saturday Karolina Erbanova (CZE) seemed to be in pole position, but she only came fourth on Sunday, leaving the World Cup to Herzog, for whom a second place in 38.11 was sufficient. Golikova won in 38.08, with compatriot Olga Fatkulina taking the bronze in 38.20. Herzog, Erbanova and Golikova overtook Kodaria in the standings in that particular order.
Vanessa Herzog (AUT)
In the 1500m Takagi maintained her immaculate record for the season. Except for the Erfurt race in January, where she was absent, the Japanese skater won all World Cup 1500m races this season to win the World Cup. Marrit Leenstra (NED) came second for the fourth time this season and also took second place in the Word Cup ranking. Lotte van Beek took third to end up fourth in the classification. Yekaterina Shikhova (RUS), who came sixth in Minsk, too third place overall.
Marrit Leenstra (NED)
Lollobrigida rewarded for consistency
In the Mass, Start Sato defeated Ivanie Blondin (CAN) in a two-horse sprint after the couple had taken a small lead over the rest of the bunch in the final lap. Blondin, who won the Mass Start World Cup last year, thus had to settle for third place in the overall ranking, behind silver medalist Sato and winner Lollobrigida, won one race and proved to be most consistent throughout the season. .
The Russian ladies once more proved to be the best in the Team Sprint, collecting their season’s third gold medal and the World Cup, beating the Netherlands and Norway in Minsk. Norway took overall silver and the Netherlands finished third in the classification.