Isabelle Weidemann took her career first individual World Cup medal, when she won the ladies' 3000m on the final day in Tomakomai. Nao Kodaira completed a weekend hattrick with gold in the 1000m, and the Dutch ladies' got their act together to win the Team Sprint.
Kodaira completes weekend hattrick
Nao Kodaira (JPN) took her third gold medal of the weekend with a track record time of 1 minute and 17.31 seconds in the ladies' 1000m on Sunday. The outdoor track in Tomakomai was not as cold as the two previous days after an overnight change of weather and the skaters did not need their warm winter coats in the afternoon anymore. With a tight wind skating conditions were tough all the same. It did not hold back Kodaira.
Brittany Bowe (USA) set the fastest time (1:17.65) in the third last pair versus Miho Takagi (JPN). Ireen Wüst (NED) came close in the penultimate pair, but wasn't able to beat Bowe despite a fast 30.6 final lap. With 1:17.83 Wüst, who won yesterday's 1500m, was second before Kodaira and Vanessa Herzog (AUT) took the ice in the final pairing.
Both Kodaira and Herzog stayed clear of Bowe and Wüst in the first 600m. Kodaira also managed to stay under Bowe's time in the final lap, but Herzog was not able to match Bowe's 30.8. With 1:17.77 the Austrian still was faster than Wüst, to run away with the bronze medal. Wüst dropped off the podium by 0.07 seconds.
Herzog won the first 1000m World Cup race of the season in Obihiro last week and stayed on top of the ranking with 108 points after Sunday's silver medal. Kodaira, who took silver last week, came level on top and Bowe is third with 97 points.
Kodaira takes 1000m gold in Tomakomai ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Maiden win for Weidemann
Isabelle Weidemann (CAN) surprised the ladies' endurance field on Sunday. The 23-year-old Canadian clinched her career first individual World Cup medal, winning the 3000m in Tomakomai. Weidemann set a track record time of 4:10.18, before the ice cleaning break.
Francesca Lollobrigida (ITA) clocked the second best time in 4:13.47, before last week's winner Esmee Visser (NED) came onto the rink. Visser was not able to match Weidemann's lap times from the beginning and seemed to suffer from the slightly tougher conditions due to a stronger wind after the ice cleaning break. The Olympic 5000m Champion finished in a disappointing 4:19.62 to end up 12th.
In the final pairing Martina Sáblíková (CZE) defied the wind and skated 4:13.00. The Czech endurance specialist, who finished third last week, pushed Lollobrigida to third place, but had to leave the top spot on the podium to Weidemann. Her pair-mate Natalya Voronina (RUS) came fourth in 4:14.47.
Sáblíková grabbed the lead in the World Cup ranking with 102 points. Voronina comes second with 97 points. Weidemann climbed to third place with 92 points and Visser dropped to fourth with 89 points.
Sáblíková, Weidemann and Lollobrigida on the podium in Tomakomai ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Dutch ladies get act together
After an unbalanced race and a bronze medal in last week's team sprint, the Netherlands started in a different line-up and the change paid off. With Letitia de Jong instead of Femke Beuling to accompany Janine Smit and Jutta Leerdam, the Dutch ladies took gold in 1:32.10.
The Ladies' Team Sprint podium in Tomakomai ©International Skating Union (ISU)