Ted-Jan Bloemen (CAN) wrapped up the Salt Lake City World Cup with a superb world record in the Men’s 5000m. The Canadian blew away the previous best of 6 minutes, 3.32 seconds, set by Sven Kramer (NED) in Calgary 10 years ago, as he finished strongly in 6:01.86. It was the fourth world record this weekend at the Utah Olympic Oval.
After having lost three times in head-to-head World Cup races this season, Bloemen did not have to race Kramer in person on Sunday. The world record holder was back in Europe preparing for the Dutch national trials.
However, Bloemen still raced against a ‘virtual Kramer’ in the shape of the clock, as he got closer and closer to world record pace during his race.
The Canadian 10,000m world record holder started slower than Kramer had done in his 2007 record race.
At the 2600m mark, Bloemen was almost two seconds behind Kramer's mark. Maintaining a steady pace with sub-29 laps, he edged closer and surpassed Kramer’s split at 4600m for the first time. At the finish line he was 1.46 seconds faster.
“I always looked up to that old world record,” 31-year-old Bloemen said afterwards.
“That was such an epic race and Sven was so angry. His 6:03 was so much faster than all the ties that were ever skated and even after that race no one actually has come close.
“Our races are hard to compare. He started so fast in 17.7 and he had to pay for that a little afterwards. I skated a super-flat schedule.”
Bloemen, who skated in the final pair, had not expected to break the world record by such a large margin.
“I saw the others skating 6:07 in the races before me so I knew that the ice was faster than Calgary last week. And I had this world record in the back of my head the whole week, but breaking it by this margin really came as a surprise. This is one of my best races ever, together with my 10,000m world record.”
Bloemen is confident he would have seen off Kramer if the Dutchman had been present.
“Yes, I think I would have beaten him. At the first three World Cups this season you saw that the momentum was on my side. I got closer every race and I think this would have been the final blow.”
Bloemen was paired with Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR), who finished fifth in 6:07.61. German Patrick Beckert came second in 6:07.02 and his compatriot and pair mate Moritz Geisreiter grabbed bronze in 6:07.31.
Bloemen surpasses Kramer at the top of the 5000m/10,000m world ranking with a total of 340 points. Kramer is second with 300 points and Beckert third with 215 points.