Calgary / Canada

The American ladies still sovereignly rule the 1000m. Brittany Bowe (USA) powered to a new world record in 1:12.54 on day 2 of the ISU World Cup in Calgary, but she didn’t win. Heather Richardson-Bergsma (USA) answered with 1:12.51 to grab gold in the next pair. Gerben Jorritsma (NED) surprisingly won the Men’s 1000m in 1:07.20.

The Calgary Olympic oval was extremely fast on Saturday with a total of 53 personal records and 15 national records in the individual events only.

Apart from the individual 1000m races, day two of the Calgary World Cup was a team day, with the Team Pursuit and the Team Sprint on the programme. The Team Sprint made its official World Cup debut.

Two American world records
Ida Njåtun skated a Norwegian record of 1:14.37, which was the best time in the Ladies’ 1000m before Brittany Bowe appeared at the start. The American lady destroyed Njåtun’s time to shave four hundredths of her own world record when she finished in 1:12.54. In her slipstream Vanessa Bittner sharpened her own Austrian record with over a second and a half (1:13.68).

Heather Richardson faced China’s Hong Zhang in the next pair. They fought a fierce battle throughout the race and Richardson came out on top to beat Bowe’s fresh world record with three hundredths to 1:12.51. Zhang skated a Chinese record in 1:12.65 to take bronze. Jorien ter Mors (NED) almost took three seconds off her personal record in the final pair to finish fourth in 1:12.66.

Earlier in the B-division, Elina Risku had brought the Finnish record to 1:18.19

Debutant Jorritsma wins 1000m
Gerben Jorritsma skated 1:07.20 in the fifth pair and raised expectations for another world record after the ladies’ spectacle. Until the penultimate pair no one came close to Jorritsma’s time however. Kjeld Nuis (NED) set 1:07.40 while compatriot and Olympic Champion Stefan Groothuis, was disqualified for not keeping his lane. In the final pair Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS) and Nico Ihle (GER) were the last contenders to threaten Jorritsma. The Russian set out at world record pace, but paid the price in the final lap to attain a silver medal in 1:07.33. Ihle didn’t come close and had to settle for 17th place in 1:09.13.

Kulizhnikov’s 1:07.33 was a new national record for Russia and Bailin Li skated a Chinese best time in 1:08.59. In the B-division Bart Swings improved the Belgian record to 1:09.28, David Andersson gave Sweden 1:09.44 and Konrád Nagy Hungary 1:09.74. Vitalij Mikhailov (BLR) improved to 1:10.15 and Christian Oberbichler (SUI) set 1:11.14. Very interesting was the participation of a skater from Colombia, Pedro Causil, who set that NR on 1:10.29.

Canada wins on home ice
Canada crushed Russia in pair four of the men’s Team Pursuit. Ted-Jan Bloemen, Jordan Belchos and Ben Donnelly set 3:39.32 to win the competition. Russia’s 3:44.01 got them sixth place. In the final pair Olympic Champions the Netherlands blew their chances when Arjen Stroetinga crashed. Korea took advantage but their 3:39.60 was not enough to beat Canada. Italy finished third in 3:41.97.

Switzerland managed to set a new national record in the first pair against the USA. With 3.57,75 the Swiss men took almost 20 seconds of the previous ten-year-old record (4.17,67).

Dutch ladies make up for men’s crash
The top three teams in the ladies team pursuit were very close. The Netherlands won in 2:56.11. Marrit Leenstra, Antoinette de Jong and Marije Joling kept Japan (2:56.46) and Russia (2:56.98) at bay. Both Japan and Russia set a new national record. Czech Republic also set a national best time (3:02.50) but it only got them to ninth place.

Netherlands and Japan win inaugural Team Sprint
The inaugural World Cup Team Sprint events were won by the Netherlands (Men) and Japan (Ladies). Dutchmen Ronald Mulder, Kai Verbij and Stefan Groothuis took gold in 1:18.79, which automatically became a world record because the team sprint was never skated before in an official ISU competition. USA (1:19.39) and Russia (1:19.59) finished second and third in the men’s event.

Japan beat the Netherlands in the final race of the ladies team sprint and Erina Kanmiya, Maki Tsuji and Nao Kodaira marked 1:26.82 as the new world record. The Dutch ladies finished fourth in 1:28.64. The silver medal went to China (1:27.08) and Canada got the bronze in 1:28.39.