Hamar, Norway

#SpeedSkating   #WorldSpeed


Miho Takagi (JPN) had a formidable start to the ISU World Sprint Championships in Hamar, Norway, on Friday. Last year's runner-up won both the 500m and the 1000m, to open up a gap of 0.87 seconds over defending champion Nao Kodaira (JPN) in the second 500m race on Saturday. Olga Fatkulina (RUS) is third in the rankings, 0.04 seconds behind Kodaira.


Close finish in 500m

In a field of 27 skaters, Miho Takagi (JPN) was the first to break the 38-second barrier in the eighth pairing of the opening 500m. After a 10.49 opener and a 27.01 full lap, she finished in 37.51 seconds.

Miho Takagi (JPN) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)

Miho Takagi (JPN) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)


Five skaters were faster after the first 100m, but no one was able to match Takagi's full lap. 

Nao Kodaira (JPN) came closest. The reigning champion opened in 10.48 and added a 27.05 full lap to finish just 0.02 outside the winning time in 37.53.

With 10.44 Angelina Golikova (RUS) had the fastest opener, but she ended up in fifth place with 37.77.

Vanessa Herzog (AUT) took fourth place in 37.53 and Olga Fatkulina (RUS) fifth in 37.72.


Giant leap in 1000m

Takagi's 500m win may have come as a surprise, her follow-up win in the 1000m less so, but the gap ahead of Jutta Leerdam (NED), who won the 1000m single distance title two weeks ago in Salt Lake City, was astonishing.

After Jorien ter Mors (NED) had broken Brittany Bowe's 2019 track record of 1:14.79 by 0.20 seconds, Takagi then went out and was the only one to finish under 1:14, in 1:13.75. She hammered out a 28.72 second final lap. No one else was able to finish with a sub-29 lap.

L10001 Miho Takagi

Miho Takagi (JPN) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)


Ter Mors came closest with 29.05, but she still dropped to third place in the 1000m because Leerdam was faster in the first 600m before closing off with a 29.31 lap to finish in 1:14.54.

"My 500m was not good," Leerdam said. "Therefore, I was content that I was able to bounce back in the 1000m. It's difficult to regroup, when you have to be ready within an hour for the next race."

After the first day, Leerdam is sixth in the ranking. She said: "[I hope for] a better 500m and another good 1000m tomorrow and then we'll see where I'll stand at the end of the day."

Having lost her track record, Bowe clocked a disappointing 1:15.09 for fifth place in the final pairing of the 1000m.

With 1:15.44 Kodaira had to settle for eighth place in the 1000m. She faces an almost unbridgeable gap of 0.865 points, which translates to 0.87 seconds in the 500m and 1.73 seconds in the 1000m.

Takagi has the chance to become the first female skater to win both the World Sprint title and the World Allround title (which she won in 2018), since Anni Friesinger (GER) who won the World Sprint title in 2007 and the World Allround title in 2001, 2002 and 2005.

"My first 500m and 1000m were good, but this competition is for the overall result of all four races," Takagi said. 

"I am happy with how it went today but I don't feel relieved yet." 

Kodaira isn’t giving up on her title just yet: "My two races were not very good, but I can learn from the races.

"I need to adjust my body movement and performance for tomorrow. It will be a challenge for me."


Where to Watch

Viewers can watch either via their national broadcaster / channel and for countries where there are no broadcasters, the ISU will offer a live stream on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel. You will find the full list in the Where to Watch news here.

Subscribe to the ISU Newsletter to receive the latest information and the “Where to Watch” news. You can also subscribe to the Skating ISU YouTube Channel to receive notifications when live streams start or new videos are published.

Highlights, clips, interviews, behind the scenes:

YouTube: ISU Skating

IG: @isuspeedskating

Facebook: @ISUSpeedSkating

Twitter: @ISU_Speed

Follow the conversation with #SpeedSkating.

For further information on ISU Speed Skating visit https://www.isu.org/speed-skating