Jade Groenewoud (NED) performs during the 2022 ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. © International Skating Union (ISU)
Jade Groenewoud (NED) and Joep Wennemars (NED) took the Women’s and Men’s Junior World Allround titles in yet another impressive Dutch medal haul at the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Innsbruck last weekend. Pien Smit (NED) missed out on a double world title, crashing out of the Women’s 1000m after having won the 500m. Despite their dominance in the individual events, the Dutch men had to bow their heads in the Team Pursuit with Japan coming out victorious of the race.
Ups and downs for Smit
Smit had been in a league of her own in this season’s Women’s Junior sprinting, winning all 500m and 1000m World Cup races. The 17-year-old athlete started the World Championships with again a 500m gold in 39.38s, beating silver medalist Yukino Yoshida (JPN) by 0.10s, while Sophie Warmuth (GER) took bronze in 39.82s.
Gold medalist Pien Smit (NED) during the medal ceremony of the 2022 ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. © International Skating Union (ISU)
Heading into the second day of the tournament, Smit’s 1000m was over in just a few seconds, as she fell over straight after her start in the final pairing versus Alina Dauranova (KAZ), who finished in 1:17.90s to take silver. Yukino Yoshida (JPN) was the only one to finish under 1 minute and 20 seconds in 1:19.73s, adding a gold medal to the 500m silver medal she had won on Friday.
Yukino Yoshida (JPN) performs during the 2022 ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. © International Skating Union (ISU)
Smit nonetheless finished the tournament on a high note, winning a Team Sprint gold medal together with Jildou Hoekstra and Chloé Hoogendoorn. The Dutch women finished in 1:31.04s, leaving Korea’s team – composed of Chung Hyunseo, Lee Sooyeon and Kang Soomin - with 5.84s behind. Kazakhstan’s team - Alina Dauranova, Inessa Shumekova and Darya Gavrilova - took bronze in 1:38.34s.
Groenewoud takes it all
Jade Groenewoud (NED) started the tournament skating 41.75s in the 500m to finish on the 17th position, but she then showed a great performance during the 1500m and won the race in 2:07.17s. Groenewoud pulled away from title rival Evelien Vijn (NED) in the classification, as her teammate came second in the 1500m.
Coming third in the 1000m, Groenewoud again increased her lead over Evelien Vijn on Saturday morning. Vijn was favorite to win the concluding 3000m race, after collecting three World Cup golds in the distance earlier this season, but she fought an uphill battle. Finishing in 4:17.40s, Groenewoud not only managed to keep Vijn at bay in the classification, but also managed to beat her teammate. Vijn had to settle for silver in the 3000m and in the final ranking.
Groenewoud eventually won a total of three individual gold medals and one bronze, along with a Team Pursuit gold medal won together with Hoogendoorn and Vijn on Sunday. Vijn collected a total of four individual silver medals over the weekend, after also coming second in the Sunday’s Mass Start. Hoogendoorn won the Mass Start, with Park Chaewon (KOR) coming third.
Gold medalists Chloe Hoogendoorn, Jade Groenewoud and Evelien Vijn (NED) during the medal ceremony at the 2022 ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Innsbruck, Austria.© International Skating Union (ISU)
Wennemars speeds away from the field
Whereas Jade Groenewoud (NED) has achieved the Women’s Allround title upon strong races in the middle distances, Joep Wennemars (NED) laid the foundation for the Men’s title in the Sprint. The 17-year-old Dutchman won both the 500m and the 1000m, came second in the 1500m and concluded the tournament with a seventh place in the 5000m.
Silver medalist Tim Prins (NED), gold medalist Joep Wennemars (NED) and bronze medalist Emil Pedersen Matre (NOR) during the medal ceremony at the 2022 ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. © International Skating Union (ISU)
Tim Prins (NED) came second in the Men’s Allround classification, adding gold in the 1500m and bronze in the 1000m to the Allround silver.
The Allround bronze medal went to Norway’s Emil Pedersen Matre, while his compatriot Sigurd Henriksen confirmed his favorite’s role winning the 5000m convincingly. Korea’s Hojun Yang won the Men’s Mass Start on Sunday, with Kayo Vos (NED) and Issei Matsumoto (JPN) seizing the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Historic first for Llop
Nil Llop (ESP) washed away the disappointment of missing out qualification for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, when he seized historic first medals for Spain at the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships this weekend.
The 19-year-old Skater from Catalunya won silver in the 500m on Friday as well as a Team Sprint silver medal together with teammates Alexander Rezzonico and Manuel Taibo on Sunday.
Japan surprises Dutch men
Japan proved that a team can be greater than the sum of its parts in the Men’s Team Pursuit. Kotaro Kasahara, Shomu Sasaki and Issei Matsumoto won one bronze medal in the individual events, while the Dutch Wennemars, Prins and Stijn van de Bun won a cumulative four gold, three silver and a bronze medal. Yet, the Japanese team ran away with Team Pursuit gold. Kasahara, Sasaki and Matsumoto finished in 3:56.18s, leaving the Dutch with 3.61s behind.
Gold medalists Shomu Sasaki, Kotaro Kasahara and Issei Matsumoto (JPN) during the medal ceremony at the 2022 ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. © International Skating Union (ISU)
Norway’s Matre, Henriksen and Sondre Buer Åsebø took bronze in 4:01.25s.Russia won the Men’s Team Sprint race in 1:25.49s, ahead of Spain and Korea. The Netherlands set the fastest time, but was disqualified for an irregular change-up.