After having hosted its first ever international event last year, the Arena Lodowa in Tomaszów Mazowiecki will welcome the ISU World Cup Speed Skating for the second time in history this weekend. The surprise winners at the season start in Minsk last week, hope to consolidate their good form, while others have to bounce back. In the long distances track records seem to be up for grabs this weekend.
Ladies Netherlands Team Sprint at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (BLR) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Competition starts with the ladies' and men's Team Sprint on Friday late afternoon. Last week in Minsk, Dutch youngster Michelle de Jong made her ISU World Cup Speed Skating debut in the team sprint and launched ISU World Speed Skating Champions Jutta Leerdam and Letitia de Jong to the first win of the season in a time of 1 minute and 29.23 seconds. Last season's team sprint ISU World Cup Speed Skating winners Russia came second, trailing 0.72 seconds. Olga Fatkulina, Angelina Golikova, Daria Kachanova (RUS) hope to make amends in Poland, but Japan are also looking up. Maki Tsuji, Konami Soga and Arisa Go (JPN) were only 0.13 seconds behind the Russians to take bronze. The Netherlands also won the men's Team Sprint, but the gap with runners-up China was only 0.15 seconds and bronze medal winners Canada were just 0.51 seconds behind the winners.
ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings Team Sprint Ladies
ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings Team Sprint Men
Possible track records in long distances
After the Team Sprint, competition resumes with the long distances. Last season the ladies skated a 5000m and the men a 10,000m in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, this time around it will be a 3000m for the ladies and a 5000m for the men. Those are the only two distances in which the track record was not set at last season's World Cup races.
Patrick Roest (NED) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (BLR) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Jan Szymański (POL) still holds the track record in the 5000m, which he skated at the Polish Allround Championships in 2017. Szymański will not be present to challenge his 6.37,50, but Patrick Roest (NED) will. The Dutchman crushed the 5000m track record with 6:16.61in Minsk last week. He left runner-up Jorrit Bergsma (NED) 5.68 behind to underline his dominance. Sven Kramer (NED), who finished 13th in Minsk, will not travel to Tomaszów Mazowiecki due to a back injury. The Olympic 5000m champion will also skip the ISU World Cups in Nur-Sultan and Nagano in December.
ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings 5000m Men
Isabelle Weidemann (CAN) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (NED) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Martina Sáblíková (CZE) skated the ladies' 3000m track record in Tomaszów at training races in September, but she couldn't keep up with Isabelle Weidemann (CAN) at last weekend's ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Minsk. With Olympic champion Carlijn Achtereekte (NED) who took silver last week, last week's bronze medalist Ivanie Blondin (CAN) and Antoinette de Jong (NED), the ladies' 3000m is very competitive.
ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings 3000m Ladies
First Team Pursuit of season
The Saturday program features the first ladies' Team Pursuit competition of this ISU World Cup Speed Skating season and on Sunday the men will also have a Team Pursuit. In the ladies' competition Japan has been unbeatable with ten consecutive wins the past three seasons. The last time the Japanese ladies lost an ISU World Cup Speed Skating Team Pursuit race was in Nagano in November 2016, when they came second behind the Netherlands.
Men Norway Team Pursuit at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (JPN) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
There's an open playing field in the men's Team Pursuit. Last season the Norwegian men took the ISU World Cup Speed Skating without winning a single event. Russia, Japan and the Netherlands, who came second, third and fourth in the ISU World Cup Speed Skating, all won a separate ISU World Cup Speed Skating race.
Kodaira hopes to restore order
Nao Kodaira (JPN) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (BLR) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
In the ladies' 500m on Saturday, Vanesse Herzog (AUT) has to start in the B Division after being disqualified for two false starts in Minsk last week. The Austrian world champion in the shortest distance has to fight her way back up, while Nao Kodaira (JPN) hopes to restore the order. Last week the Japanese Olympic Champion had to bow her head for Russia's Olga Fatkulina (RUS) and Daria Kachanova (RUS), who broke Kodaira's 500m winning streak of 23 in the World Cup.
ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings 500m Ladies
Ireen Wüst (NED) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (BLR) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
The ladies will skate a 1500m and a mass start race on Sunday. In Minsk Ireen Wüst (NED) skated a very well-paced 1500m to take her 23rd ISU World Cup Speed Skating win in that distance. She'll face another tough outing versus Yekaterina Shikhova (RUS), Brittany Bowe (USA), Yevgenia Lalenkova (RUS) and Jorien ter Mors (NED), who all finished within a second from the Olympic Champion.
ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings 1500m Ladies
Ladies Mass Start at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (BLR) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
The ladies' Mass Start will probably see another chapter in the rivalry between Irene Schouten (NED) and Ivanie Blondin (CAN). Last week the Canadian beat the Dutch world champion in the final sprint with Francesca Lollobrigida (ITA) coming second. Last season's ISU World Cup Speed Skating winner Bo-Reum Kim (KOR), who came fourth last week, is another strong contender.
ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings Mass Start Ladies
Battle in absence of Kulizhnikov
Jun-Ho Kim (KOR) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (BLR) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
In absence of the injured world record holder Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS), the men's 500m will be another exciting contest with many contenders. Last week the first four skaters all finished within 0.2 seconds from each other. Jun-Ho Kim (KOR) took a surprise win in 34.87, with Tingyu Gao (CHN) and Dai Dai Ntab (NED) both clocking 34.91 to take silver and bronze. Tatsuya Shinhama (JPN) came fourth in 35.01.
ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings 500m Men
Denis Yuskov (RUS) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (NOR) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
The men's 1500m will be just as exciting as the 500m, with Kjeld Nuis (NED), Denis Yuskov (RUS) and Thomas Krol (NED) taking gold, silver and bronze in a tight competition last week. Comeback kid Koen Verweij (NED), who had been absent from international Speed Skating last season, will be back in the A Division after last week's win in the B Division.
ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings 1500m Men
Jorrit Bergsma (NED) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (BLR) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Jorrit Bergsma (NED) won last week's Mass Start with a powerful attack in the final three laps of an eventful race in the mass start last week. Question this week will be whether he, or someone else, again manages to surprise the pack with a solo effort.
ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings Mass Start Men
Where to Watch
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