Inzell, Germany

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Jordan Stolz (USA) performs during the 2023 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Inzell, Germany. @ISU

Jordan Stolz (USA) came, saw and conquered in Inzell, Germany, last weekend. The 18-year-old American had skipped the first two ISU Junior World Cups, because he was busy winning medals at senior level, but won three individual gold medals and a silver at the third and final leg. Stolz thus underlined his candidacy for the World Junior title this week (February 10-12, 2023) on the same track. The Netherlands were the most successful nation in the Junior World Cup Series this season, winning five World Cup rankings. Norway dominated the neo-senior category, winning four World Cup rankings.

Stolz (USA) far ahead in 1000m

In the absence of Tim Prins (NED), Junior World Cup leader in the 500m, 1000m and 1500m, Stolz was in a league of his own in Inzell. Prins chose to compete in the Dutch senior national championships, finishing 18th in the 1500m and 12th in the 1000m, while Stolz won the 500m, the 1000m and the mass start at the Junior World Cup.

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Jordan Stolz (USA) performs during the 2023 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Inzell, Germany. @ISU

In the 1000m on Saturday, Stolz stopped the clock at 1:07.82, finishing 2.34 seconds ahead of Issa Gunji (JPN), who had won the 500m and the 1000m at the first World Cup in Seinäjoki, Finland last November.

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Issa Gunji (JPN), Jordan Stolz (USA) and Motoki Abe (JPN) pose with their medals during the 2023 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Inzell, Germany. @ISU

Nikita Vazhenin (KAZ) finished on top of the 1000m World Cup standings, with Ko Eun-Woo (KOR) coming second and Gunji in third. Vazhenin and Ko both competed in all three World Cup weekends, while Gunji had missed the second leg. Prins dropped to fourth place in the 1000m rankings.

Henriksen (NOR) takes 3000m

Stolz went on to take silver in the 3000m on the first day of competition in Inzell. He finished 2.35s behind Sigurd Henriksen (NOR), who clocked 3:40.61. The Norwegian youngster also skipped the first two Junior World Cups, already competing in the senior ranks at World Cup level this season.

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Sigurd Henriksen (NOR) performs during the 2023 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Inzell, Germany. @ISU

Dutch Stijn van de Bunt, who had won the first two 3000m races in the Junior World Cup, therefore ended on top of the standings despite only finishing 13th in the third leg.

Team USA (Stolz, Jonathan Tobon, Auggie Herman) won the Men’s Junior Team Sprint event to conclude Saturday’s action, with Kazakhstan and Sweden coming second and third. Poland came sixth, but finished first in the rankings.

Stolz (USA) strikes again on Sunday

Stolz struck again in the 500m and the mass start on Sunday. With 34.89s, he was the only one to finish under 35 seconds in the shortest distance, leaving Gunji 0.48s behind. Koo Kyung-Min (KOR) finished first in the standings, ahead of Gunji and Prins.

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Kyung-Min Koo (KOR) performs during the 2023 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Inzell, Germany. @ISU

After qualifying first from his semi-final race, Stolz also won the mass start final, ahead of compatriot Carl Tatelli. Kaspar Norberg (SWE) finished fourth to edge out Van de Bunt by one point on top of the World Cup standings. The Dutchman finished twelfth in the final.

Stolz did not start in the 1500m on Sunday, leaving the field open for a tight battle between Kotaro Kasahara (JPN), Nuraly Akzhol (KAZ) and Emil Pedersen Matre (NOR). Kasahara beat Akzhol by 0.12s in 1:48.03, while Pedersen Matre finished third in 1:48.81 to secure first place in the standings.

Hersman and Chen take silver and gold

In the Women’s Junior category, Pien Hersman (NED) and Aoyu Chen (CHN) both won a gold and a silver medal at the final World Cup weekend. The Dutchwomen won the 500m and finished second in the 1000m, while the Chinese youngster combined 1500m gold with 3000m silver.

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Pien Hersman (NED) performs during the 2023 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Inzell, Germany. @ISU

Hersman also ended up first in the 500m rankings, with Alina Dauranova (KAZ) in second. The 19-year-old Kazak won the 1000m to secure her top spot in the ranking over that distance.

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Alina Dauranova (KAZ) performs during the 2023 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Inzell, Germany.@ISU

Chen ended up second in both the 1500m and 3000m rankings. Jade Groenewoud (NED) took her third 3000m gold in the season to finish on top. The Dutchwomen had also won the first two 1500m World Cup races, but decided to skip the distance because she focuses on retaining her Junior World Allround title in Inzell this week. While Chen won the 1500m in Groenewoud’s absence, Kang Soo-Min (KOR) ended up on top of the ranking, coming in second behind Chen.

Angel Daleman (NED) won the Women’s mass start ahead of compatriot Chloé Hoogendoorn, who ended up first in the standings after already having won the event at the first two World Cups.

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Angel Daleman (NED) smiles during the 2023 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Inzell, Germany.@ISU

The Dutch women (Pien Smit, Hersman, Daleman) also won the Team Sprint, ahead of the United States and Kazakhstan. The Netherlands thus won the Team events ranking, with Poland and Korea coming in second and third.

Llop regroups well after 1000m crash in neo-senior category

In the neo-senior category, Nil Llop Izquierdo (ESP) missed the opportunity to collect three gold medals in the course of one weekend when he crashed in the last corner of his 1000m race. The Spanish youngster went on to win the 500m and the 1500m on Sunday, securing the top spot in the 500m standings along the way.

Botond Bejczi (HUN) won the Men’s 1000m, while Kasper Tveter (NOR) took the 3000m gold. The Norwegian finished on top of the 1000m, the 1500m and the 3000m ranking.

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Botond Bejczi (HUN) competing during the 2022 ISU Speed Skating World Cup 4 in Calgary, Canada. @ISU

In the Women’s neo-senior category, Josephine Heimerl (GER) went home with two gold medals, a silver and a bronze in the final World Cup weekend. The 22-year-old German won the 1000m and the mass start, came second in the 500m and third in the 1500m. Her compatriot Sophie Warmuth (GER) won the 500m, while Natalia Jabrzyk (POL) won the 1500m. Marte Bjerkreim Furnee (NOR) won 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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