ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Baselga di Piné (ITA) 2016©International Skating Union (ISU)
While the best senior skaters compete for the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championship titles in Inzell, the champions of the future meet at the ISU Junior World Cup final in Baselga di Piné on 9-10 February. After the first two legs in Tomaszów Mazowiecki (POL) and Helsinki (FIN), Robin Groot (NED) and Hallgeir Engebråten (NOR) are on their way to win multiple World Cup distances.
Robin Groot (NED) at the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating (FIN)2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Robin Groot leads the World Cup rankings in the 1000m, 1500m and the Mass Start. With Michelle de Jong (NED) and Paulien Verhaar (NED) on top of the 500m and the 3000m rankings and the Netherlands in charge of the Team Sprint classification, the Dutch ladies seem on their way to take home all World Cup titles this season. The Orange girls welcome Femke Kok (NED) back in their squad. The 18-year-old won three gold medals at the first World Cup in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, but was absent due to illness at the second leg in Helsinki.
Victoria Stirnemann (GER) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (FIN)2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Another girl to watch in the ladies' junior competition is Victoria Stirnemann. The sixteen-year-old daughter of three-time Olympic Champion and eight-time World Allround Champion Gunda Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann, still a category B junior, won her career first junior World Cup medals in Helsinki (bronze in the 1000m and silver in the 1500m).
Veronika Suslova (RUS) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (USA)2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
The Dutch ladies do not compete in the neo-senior competition, which leaves the field open to other nations, with Russia being the most prolific. Veronika Suslova (RUS) leads the 1000m, 1500m and Mass Start World rankings. China's Adake Er Ahena is in pole position to win the 3000m World Cup, while Romania's Mihaela Hogas tops the 500m ranking.
Long distance specialist Engebråten
Hallgeir Engebråten (NOR) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (FIN)2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Hallgeir Engebråten (NOR) is the big name in the men's junior competition. The Norwegian long distance specialist won the first two World Cup races in both the 1500m and the 3000m. Russia dominates the short distances with Artem Arefyev in charge of the 500m ranking, and Sergei Loginov leading the 1000m classification.
Egor Shkolin (RUS) at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating (USA) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Egor Shkolin (RUS) is the big men in the neo-senior competition. The Russian leads the 1500m, 3000m and Mass Start rankings. Italy's Jeffrey Rosanelli hopes to land the 500m World Cup on home soil and Odin By Farstad (NOR) defends the lead in the 1000m ranking.
For full entry lists and further information regarding the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating Series please visit: isu.org/speed-skating. Results are here and you can follow the discussion on social media by using #WCSpeedSkating and #SpeedSkating.
The ISU World Cup Speed Skating Series will be available on in some countries on the ISU Skating Channel.