Following her maiden World Cup win in Poland last week, Erin Jackson (USA) claimed her third gold medal in a row in the Women’s 500m during the second day of the World Cup in Stavanger. Nao Kodaira (JPN) finished second, with Kaja Ziomek (POL) – The 24-year-old sprinter who would later win in the Women’s Team Sprint – finishing third.
Jackson takes out the freebie
Finishing in 37.60 seconds, Jackson did not think much of her race initially.
“When I crossed the line, I was kind of disappointed,” Jackson said. “It didn't feel like a solid race, and the time didn't seem like something that would be the winning time. I did not expect that to be the winning time.”
After Jackson had set her time, neither Olympic Champion Kodaira or World Champion Angelina Golikova (RUS) were able to beat it in the final two pairings.
Kodaira came closest, finishing in 37.70 seconds for Silver, but Golikova (37.83s) and team-mate Olga Fatkulina (37.84s) had to settle for fourth and fifth place. They did, however, retain third and fourth place respectively in the 500m World Cup ranking, behind Jackson and Kodaira.
“I was really surprised watching the last two pairs go through,” Jackson said. “I was like, okay, I'll take it out the freebie, but I can't let that happen again.”
Former inline Champion Jackson has come a long way since finishing 24st at the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, after having first stood on ice-skates in 2016.
“In PyeongChang I felt a little out of place, like, how did I get here? Jackson said. What am I doing here? Now it’s completely different.”
Nao Kodaira (JPN), Erin Jackson (USA) and Kaja Ziomek (POL) - © International Skating Union (ISU)
Kodaira targets Sunday win
While Jackson felt out of place in PyeongChang, Kodaira won Olympic gold. The Japanese 500m star did not feel out of place in Stavanger, but she was not where she wanted to be either.
“It’s okay,” Kodaira said. “I just want to work on my technique and become faster. I have to focus on the opener.”
Despite not having won in three of her 500-metre races during this World Cup season, Kodaira was still confident ahead of Sunday’s second 500m race in Stavanger: “I’ve got silver and bronze already, tomorrow I’ll win.”
Nao Kodaira (JPN) © International Skating Union (ISU)
Lucky day for Ziomek
Kaja Ziomek (POL) enjoyed the best day of her career so far, winning 500m bronze and Team Sprint gold.
“I'm so happy,” she smiled. ”I think it's my lucky day. Here I had my World Cup debut (in Stavanger 2017), and here I have my first medal, I'm so excited.”
Team Sprint success for Poland
ISU World Cup Speed Skating Standings 500m Women
Team Sprint Women
ISU World Cup Team Sprint Women Standings Team Sprint Women
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About ISU World Cup Speed Skating Series
The ISU World Cup Speed Skating is a Series of international Speed Skating competitions which takes place annually. The Series started in 1984 and usually consists of six or seven Events including the ISU World Cup Speed Skating Final. However during the Olympic season the Series consists of five Events.
Skaters can earn points at each competition, and the Skater who has the most points on a given distance at the end of the Series is the World Cup winner of that distance. The World Cup Competitions held from November to December serve as qualifying events for entry quotas at the ISU European, World Single Distances, World Sprint and World Allround Speed Skating Championships and during the Olympic season they are Olympic Qualifying Events. A number of World Cup titles are awarded every season; For Men: 500m, 1000m, 1500m, combined 5000m / 10,000m, Mass Start, Team Pursuit and Team Sprint. For Women 500m, 1000m, 1500m, the combined 3000m / 5000m, Mass Start, Team Pursuit and Team Sprint. For further information please visit isu.org/WorldCupSpeedSkating.