Salt Lake City, USA


Miho Takagi (JPN) beat the rest of the field nearly a second and a half in the Women's 1500m on Sunday, the final day of the ISU Speed Skating World Cup in Salt Lake City. With a time of 1 minute and 49.99 seconds, the indomitable Takagi came just 0.16s shy of her own world record, in only the second sub 1.50 race in history. In the Women's Mass Start, Sofie Karoline Haugen (NOR) took her first World Cup medal, with a well deserved bronze after an exhausting attack. The pack caught up with her in extremis, but only Ivanie Blondin (CAN) and Marijke Groenewoud (NED) managed to pass the Norwegian, seizing gold and silver respectively.

Miho Takagi JPN GettyImages

Miho Takagi (JPN) © International Skating Union (ISU)


Behind Takagi, Sato adds to Japanese joy

After Saturday’s 1000m, Takagi again missed out on the world record by a close margin in the 1500m, but said she had no regrets.

“The goal was to skate under 1 minute and 50 seconds and I managed. I’m very happy to pull that off under these circumstances (not the ideal low air pressure due to weather conditions).”

Takagi was paired up with teammate Ayano Sato (JPN), who had won her career first World Cup medal in a classical distance with bronze in the 1500m two weeks ago in Stavanger.

“I’m happy that we have depth in the Japanese team, so I can skate against a teammate at a similar level,” Takagi said.

Sato showed that her medal in Norway was no coincidence. Albeit at a respectable distance behind Takagi, she ran away with silver in Salt Lake City, clocking 1:51.46.

“I’ve been skating the 1500m and the 3000m for a long time,” Sato said. “But somehow I finally figured out the rhythm of the race. And that's the difference with how I performed in the past and today.

“I was a little nervous to skate against Miho (Takagi). I knew that she was racing for the world record, so I tried to forget who I was racing against and skate my own race. Maybe that's what this result came from.”

With renewed confidence, Sato is looking forward to the rest of the season and especially the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing 2022.

“Of course we will try to go for a second gold medal in the Team Pursuit,” Sato said. “I want to perform in the Mass Start too, but also in the individual events.”

Thanks to her silver medal, Sato climbed to second place in the World Cup ranking, behind Takagi, who has clinched all three 1500m races so far.


Sato Takagi JPN de Jong NED GettyImages

Ayano Sato and Miho Takagi (JPN) and Antoinette de Jong  © International Skating Union (ISU)


De Jong takes bronze in clash between speed and stamina

After Takagi had set an incredibly high bar yet again, home skater Brittany Bowe (USA) took on Antoinette de Jong (NED) in the final pairing. It was a classical clash of speed versus stamina, which led to a difficult change-up at the first backstretch.

“I've not had the best exchanges this whole season,” Bowe said. “But that's the cool thing about the 1500m. Girls coming from the 3000m side and girls coming in from the 1000m side.”

Due to Bowe’s faster opener in the outer lane, she almost came level to De Jong at the first backstretch. De Jong had to make pace to avoid a collision and Bowe, who had priority coming from the outer lane, held back a little.

“I just tried to get into the draft as best as possible and I think she had a faster first (full) lap than me, so it was OK,” Bowe said.

The American lacked the stamina to hold on to her pace, however and finished eighth in 1:52.32, while De Jong went on to win bronze in a personal best of 1:51.72, edging out compatriot Ireen Wüst (NED) by 0.38s for the podium.

“My 1500m was much better than in Poland and in Stavanger — more in control, technically better,” De Jong said. The 3000m World Champion will skip next week’s World Cup in Calgary to prepare for the Dutch trials, which are held on 26-30 December in Heerenveen.


Ivanie Blondin CAN GettyImages

Ivanie Blondin (JPN) © International Skating Union (ISU)


Mass Start

Ivanie Blondin ran away with gold after a blistering final lap, but Sofie Karoline Haugen was the hero of Sunday’s Mass Start, converting a bold breakaway into a bronze medal.

Haugen was in a breakaway with Marina Zueva (BLR), who had attacked early on in the race, and

Nadja Wenger (SUI). Her Belarussian and the Swiss fellow-escapees did not manage to hold on to the end however, whereas Haugen hung in by the skin of her teeth.

Winning bronze came as a big and welcome surprise to the 26-year-old Norwegian.

“I don't know what to say. I wasn't expecting to qualify for the final, so then this is just unbelievable.”

When she made it to the final, she took on a do-or-die strategy.

“I had a feeling that I had to try to do something,” Haugen said. “If I would get lapped, it wouldn’t matter, I just wanted to try something.

“I was expecting them to take me, but then I just heard my coach was yelling that I just had to go. So, I was just giving everything I had all the way, but I also felt really good. I had more control in the corners than before, that's a good feeling.”

For Blondin, the race folded out perfectly. Irene Schouten (NED) was chasing the escapees, to set up teammate Marijke Groenewoud for the final sprint and Blondin could sit back.

“Tactically, I think I raced really well,” Blondin said.

“I think I just positioned myself really well. I was just patient with the final sprint.

“Sophie Haugen was way ahead. She was on a breakaway and she held it the longest out of everyone. Quite honestly in the last lap, I wasn't sure if we were going to close that gap, but we did.

“She was hanging in there and she just skated beautifully. It was a really good tactical race for her, and it's always nice to see different girls on the podium.”

Mass Start world champion Groenewould tried to get past Blondin on the final straight, but had to bow her head and settle for silver.

“It was just a great final sprint. I think that's the fastest lap I've ever done at the end of a Mass Start,” Blondin said.


1500m Women

ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings 1500m Women

Mass Start Women

ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings Mass Start Women


The event entry quotas for the individual distances will be determined by the Special Olympic Qualification Classification (SOQC) based on results from the different ISU World Cup Speed Skating Competitions and the full details are available in ISU Communication 2405.

For full entry lists and further information regarding the ISU World Cup Speed Skating Series please visit: Results are here and you can follow the discussion on social media by using #SpeedSkating.


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For further information on ISU Speed Skating visit


ISU World Cup Speed Skating Series 2021/22:

Tomaszów Mazowiecki (POL) – Nov 12 – 14, 2021

Stavanger (NOR) - Nov 19 - Nov 21, 2021

Salt Lake City (USA) - Dec 03 - Dec 05, 2021 

Calgary (CAN) – Dec 10 - Dec 12, 2021

Final – Heerenveen (NED) – Mar 12 - Mar 13, 2022 


About ISU World Cup Speed Skating Series

The ISU World Cup Speed Skating is a Series of international Speed Skating competitions which takes place annually. The Series started in 1984 and usually consists of six or seven Events including the ISU World Cup Speed Skating Final. However during the Olympic season the Series consists of five Events.

Skaters can earn points at each competition, and the Skater who has the most points on a given distance at the end of the Series is the World Cup winner of that distance. The World Cup Competitions held from November to December serve as qualifying events for entry quotas at the ISU European, World Single Distances, World Sprint and World Allround Speed Skating Championships and during the Olympic season they are Olympic Qualifying Events. A number of World Cup titles are awarded every season; For Men: 500m, 1000m, 1500m, combined 5000m / 10,000m, Mass Start, Team Pursuit and Team Sprint. For Women 500m, 1000m, 1500m, the combined 3000m / 5000m, Mass Start, Team Pursuit and Team Sprint. For further information please visit