Whereas Graeme Fish was the revelation in the Men's competition at the Salt Lake City ISU World Speed Skating Championships, Jutta Leerdam had a breakthrough season in the Ladies' field.
The 21-year-old Dutch sprinter won the ISU European Speed Skating 1000m title on home ice in Heerenveen in January, was part of the Netherlands’ Team Sprint ISU World Speed Skating gold at the Utah Olympic Oval, and added a first individual ISU World Speed Skating title to her resumé in the 1000m.
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This facial expression describes how I feel about this season. The season is over. I still can’t believe I became Dutch, European & World Champion! I want to use this moment to thank @schaatsteamreggeborgh, my teammates, coaches, staff & the sponsor Reggeborgh for giving me the opportunity to train in a men’s team, where I was able to make the next step & where I developed myself as the skater I am today! 🙏🏻 Thank you family, for always being there for me. & Thank you fans! Now it’s time to let it all sink in & enjoy my holiday. ☀️ #blessed
The five-time silver medal winner in the 2018 ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships was the only one who finished below 1:12, stopping the clock at 1:11.84.
On a day of multiple world-record times on the Salt Lake City ice, Leerdam fell just 0.23 seconds short of Brittany Bowe’s (USA) leading time of 1.11.61.
Jutta Leerdam (NED) at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships©International Skating Union (ISU)
"I could have skated [the world record] today,” Leerdam said. “The race went well, but there was a mishap entering one of the corners. If I had done that better… but hey, we've got to save something for the future."
Jutta Leerdam (NED) at the ISU European Speed Skating Championships 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)