Jordan Stolz (USA) after crossing the finish line to a gold medal in the 1000m Men Division A race during the 2022 ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Calgary, Alberta. @ISU
Jordan Stolz (USA) already won three senior World Cup races this season, but the American will take on his last chance to win junior titles at the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating final this weekend, and the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships next week. Both events are held at the Max Aicher Arena in Inzell (Germany) and are available to watch on the Ice Skating Channel on Recast.
Stolz meets Japanese speedsters
While Stolz was skating in the senior World Cups, Dutch and Japanese skaters dominated the junior ranks last November and December. Dutch anchor Tim Prins and leader in the 500m, 1000m and the 1500m Junior World Cup ranking chose to skate at the Dutch national senior championships this weekend in Heerenveen, but he will travel to Inzell for the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships next week.
Tim Prins (NED) performs in Men's Junior 1000m race during the 2022 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Seinajoki, Finland. @ISU
Stolz’ main rivals in the short and middle distances at the World Cup final are expected to be Japan’s Issa Gunji and Kotaro Kasahara, who were absent at the second Junior World Cup after having beaten Prins in the first leg. Gunji won the 500m and the 1000m, while Kasahara took gold in the 1500m at the first World Cup in Seinäjoki in November.
Issa Gunji (JPN) competes in the 500m Men Junior event during the 2022 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Seinajoki, Finland. @ISU
Like Stolz, Sigurd Henriksen (NOR) also skipped the first two Junior World Cups, because he competed in the senior World Cup series. With a time of 6.13,84, the Norwegian youngster even set a World junior record at the World Cup in Calgary in December 2022. Henriksen will be the main favorite to beat World Cup leader Stijn van de Bunt (NED) in the 3000m at the World Cup final.
Sigurd Henriksen (NOR) races in the 10000m Men Division A during the 2022 ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Calgary, Alberta. @ISU
China’s Cong Zhenlong (CHN) hopes to bring home the Mass Start World Cup, leading the classification after a seventh place at the first leg and a silver medal at the second.
Dutch women dominate
In the women’s junior category, the Netherlands lead all but one individual event. Kazak Alina Dauranova breaks the trend by being the only non-Dutch leading the 1000m ranking after a gold and a silver medal in the first two events.
Alina Dauranova (KAZ) competing on the Women's B Group 500m during the 2022 ISU Speed Skating World Cup in Calgary, Canada. @Getty Images
Jade Groenewoud (NED) took charge in both the 1500m and the 3000m, while Pien Hersman (NED) has pole position in the 500m. Chloé Hoogendoorn (NED) won the first two Mass Start events in that event.
Tvetter and Llop strong in neo-senior category
The World Cup final this weekend will also feature the neo-senior category, while the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships next week are only for the junior skaters.
Kasper Tveter (NOR) will be the man to beat in the longer distances in this neo-senior category. He leads the 1500m and the 3000m rankings after back-to-back golds in the first two World Cup events this season.
Kasper Tveter (NOR) poses with his gold medal after winning Men's Neo-Senior 1500m race during the 2022 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Seinajoki, Finland.@ISU
The Norwegian is also ranked second in the 1000m ranking, behind Nil Llop Izquierdo. The Spanish sprinting prodigy won back-to-back golds in the 500m and 1000m.
Nil Llop Izquierdo (ESP) competes in the Men's 2nd 500m sprint during the 2023 ISU European Speed Skating Championships in Hamar, Norway. @ISU
In the women’s neo-senior category, Anna Ostlender (GER) leads the 1000m and Mass Start rankings. Her compatriot Sophie Warmuth is at the top of the 500m ranking, while Wenjing Jin (CHN) leads the 1500m and Norway’s Hanna Svenni the 3000m.
Age groups and eligibility
Participation in the Junior World Cup is open to Junior A and Junior B Skaters, born between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2006 as per ISU Rule 108, and to Junior C Skaters born between July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2007. Participation in the Neo-seniors division is open to Skaters born between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 2002.
For all information about the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating Series, please visit the webpage here.
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