Heading into the ISU World Cup Speed Skating Final in Minsk (BLR), Grand World Cup leaders Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen (NOR) and Miho Takagi (JPN) hope to cash in on a prolific season. The ISU World Sprint Speed Skating Champion and the ISU World Allround Speed Skating Champion spearheaded Norway and Japan, who definitely joined the Netherlands as major power houses in Speed Skating this year.
As the only lady to win two gold medals in Speed Skating at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Nana Takagi was crowned Queen of the Gangneung Oval. The older of the successful Takagi-sisters won the Mass Start gold, which made its Olympic debut in PyeongChang on February 24. Just three days before, she had won the Team Pursuit title together with sister Miho, Ayano Sato and Ayaka Kikuchi.
Joy Beune (NED) and Allan Dahl Johansson (NOR) were crowned World Junior Allround Champions in Salt Lake City on Sunday.
Sverre Lunde Pedersen was 3500 meters away from taking the first Norwegian ISU World Allround Speed Skating title since Johann Olav Koss in 1994, but did not manage to bring it home after a bizarre crash and Patrick Roest (NED) ran away with the title.
Miho Takagi (JPN) grabbed the first ever Japanese World Allround Speed Skating title in the lions’ den on Saturday. The 23-year-old Olympic Team Pursuit Champion held off defending champion Ireen Wüst (NED) on the artificial ice rink, which was specially built for the ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Stadium.
The men’s event at the ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships in a rainy but atmospheric Amsterdam Olympic Stadium, has become a clash of generations after the first two distances. 22-year-old Patrick Roest (NED) and 25-year-old Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR) are on top of the rankings after winning the 500m and the 5000m respectively.
Miho Takagi (JPN) started the ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships with a blast in the 500m, to take a big advantage over defending champion Ireen Wüst (NED) on the first day of the Championships on the outdoor track in the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium on Friday. Wüst fought back in the 3000m and has not given up on the title just yet. Antoinette de Jong (NED) is third after two distances.
In 1893 the first ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships took place on the Museum Square in Amsterdam (NED). Exactly 125 years later the prestigious Championships return to Amsterdam and will be held outdoors for the first time since 2001.
This year’s ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships will be held at the superfast high-altitude Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City. The skaters have had enough time to familiarize with the track, because the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating final was held on the same oval last week. In the ladies’ World Junior Championships Jutta Leerdam (NED) will defend her Allround title and in the men’s tournament Chris Huizinga’s Allround title is up for grabs since the Dutchman went to the senior ranks after last season.
The ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships returns to its place of birth. 125 years ago Dutchman Jaap Eden won the first official ISU World Speed Skating Championships in Amsterdam.
Jorien ter Mors (NED) and Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen (NOR) were crowned World Sprint Champions in Changchun on Sunday. Ter Mors took gold after defending champion Nao Kodaira (JPN) withdrew from the final 1000m, and Lorentzen kept Dutchmen Kjeld Nuis and Kai Verbij at bay at the 49th ISU World Sprint Championships.
The battle is on at the ISU World Sprint Championships in Changchun. In both the ladies’ and the men’s tournament the Olympic 500m and 1000m champions are engaged in a close fight for the title. After the first day in the ladies’ competition, 500m champion Nao Kodaira (JPN) is in the lead with a small margin over 1000m champion Jorien ter Mors (NED). In the men’s tournament Olympic 500m champion Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen (NOR) is on top, with defending World Sprint champion Kai Verbij (NED) and Olympic 1000m champion Kjeld Nuis (NED) at his heels.
With the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games done and dusted, the sprinters do not have time for much rest. On March 3-4, they will take the ice again for the 49th ISU World Sprint Speed Skating Championships in Changchun, China. Kai Verbij (NED) and Nao Kodaira (JPN) will defend the title they won in Calgary (CAN) last year.