The Netherlands are the only nation to have earned the maximum quota of 18 participants in Speed Skating at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Yet, seizing a spot in the national Olympic selection is tougher in the Netherlands than anywhere else. With an internationally unmatched amount of top level skaters, the Dutch have to leave potential medal winners at home. Ireen Wüst and Sven Kramer, the most decorated Dutch Olympians of all time, fought their way to Beijing.
Piotr Michalski (POL) and Bart Swings (BEL) ended the Netherlands’ unbeaten run at the European Championships on Sunday. After two days of non-stop home wins, Polish sprinter Michalski became the first non-Dutchman to take a gold medal in Heerenveen, winning the 500m to seal a career-first international title. Swings then followed suit winning the Mass Start for Belgium, after Kjeld Nuis (NED) had started the day winning his first European title in the 1500m.
The Dutch women won three more gold medals on Sunday to conclude the European Championships having taken all titles on offer in Heerenveen. Jutta Leerdam retained her 1000m title, Ireen Wüst, Antoinette de Jong and Irene Schouten seized the third consecutive Team Pursuit title for the Dutch, and Schouten rounded off the tournament defending her Mass Start title.
ISU European Speed Skating Championships 2022 Heerenveen (NED) - Day 2 Femke Kok (NED) and Antoinette de Jong (NED) won their first European titles in Heerenveen on Saturday. Kok took gold ahead of Angelina Golikova (RUS) and Daria Kachanova (RUS), who were relieved to skate at all after being quarantined this week due to positive Covid-19 tests in the Russian squad. De Jong concluded Saturday’s action with gold in the 1500m.
Patrick Roest (NED) won the European 5000m title on Saturday as Dutch speed skating legend Sven Kramer said farewell to an empty Thialf Stadium in Heerenveen, finishing sixth in his final 5000m race. Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR) missed out on a 5000m ticket for the Olympic Games after teammate Hallgeir Engebråten was faster in Heerenveen, taking bronze behind Roest and Jorrit Bergsma (NED). Earlier on Saturday, the Dutch men claimed European Team Sprint gold.
Thomas Krol (NED) won his first international title in the 1000m, edging out arch-rival Kjeld Nuis (NED) by 0.09s at the European Championships on Friday. Kai Verbij completed the all-Dutch podium at 0.17s from the winner. Earlier on Friday, Sven Kramer, Marcel Bosker and Patrick Roest handed the Netherlands their third consecutive European Team Pursuit title.
Irene Schouten (NED) started the European Championships with yet another victory to maintain her unbeaten record in the 3000m this season. Finishing in three minutes and 56.62 seconds, the 29-year-old endurance specialist kept silver medalist Antoinette de Jong (NED) 3.17s behind. Earlier on Friday, Poland’s Andzelika Wójcik, Kaja Ziomek and Karolina Bosiek kicked off the tournament by winning gold in the Women’s Team Sprint.
Canada is aiming for a milestone at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games. The North American Speed Skating powerhouse needs one more gold to claim its tenth Olympic Long Track title. At this season’s four World Cups, the Canadian team showed greater depth than the selection four years ago at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeonchang, when Ted-Jan Bloemen was the only Canadian medalist.
With the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing only a month away, the European Speed Skating elite settles down in Heerenveen for the ISU European Speed Skating Championships on 7-9 January. After last season’s combined European Sprint and Allround Championships, the tournament will be held in single distance format this year. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the event will be held without spectators.
With three gold medals, two silver and a bronze, Japan came second in the medal table at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games. Fast forward to Beijing 2022, the prospect looks even brighter. All Japanese silverware in PyeongChang was won in women’s events, but the men have caught up in recent years, especially in the shortest distance.
Norway did not manage to conquer the maximum number of entries in Speed Skating for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, but the future looks bright, says youngster Allan Dahl Johansson. This week the first ten Norwegian Speed Skaters in long track were announced. Despite a severe bike crash last summer, Sverre Lunde Pedersen made the cut. Four years ago he was the main engine in the Norwegian squad that won the Men’s Olympic Team Pursuit gold.
Following the conclusion of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating Competitions, designated for qualification of event quota places for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, held in Tomaszów Mazowiecki (POL), Stavanger (NOR), Salt Lake City (USA) and Calgary (CAN), and in line with ISU Special Regulations, Rule 209 and Qualification System for the XXIV Olympic Winter Games 2022 in Beijing issued by the IOC, the quota places (distance/event quotas) for Speed Skating have been provisionally allocated.
It had been a long wait, but after eight years Denis Kuzin (KAZ, pictured) could climb upon an international podium again. The 2013 World Champion took the 1000m title on the final day of competition at the Four Continents Championships in Calgary. He edged out Austin Kleba (USA) by 0.12 seconds. The US skater joined Ted-Jan Bloemen (CAN) on top of the individual medal ranking in the men’s competition, both having won two golds and a silver. Bloemen anchored Canada to an impressive Team Pursuit title to conclude the tournament on Friday.
Having won the first international speed skating medal for Chinese Taipei with silver in the 500m on Wednesday, Huang Yu-Ting (pictured centre) seized the first title for her country in the 1000m at the Four Continents Championships. “It’s a dream,” she says. The USA topped the overall medal ranking in the women’s competition with three gold medals, after concluding the event taking the women’s Team Pursuit title.