The ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating series will start tomorrow for the fourth year. 

The series gives young speed skaters a platform at top international junior level, providing additional challenges and nurturing competitiveness as athletes move towards the senior level. In the ISU Junior World Cup Series the participants are either A or B Juniors; meaning that they are in the last four years of being eligible to participate at junior level (aged 15-19 years). They skate all in one division, and the program includes individual events in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m and 3000m and mass start races as well as the Team Pursuit for both Men and Ladies. At the World Junior Championships the Men’s 3000m is replaced by the 5000m. This season is the first time the mass start races will take place. The Ladies’ races will be over 8 laps, the Men’s over 12 laps. In the Team Pursuit the ladies skate 6 laps and the men skate 8.

The event is financially supported by the ISU's Development Program and prize money will be awarded for the three best skaters or teams in the final overall classification of each distance/event. Skaters can earn points by participating in the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating Series.

This weekend, November 12-13, the series will kick off in Erfurt (GER), with 81 young women and 94 young men representing 23 countries. Both, women and men will compete at the 2x500m, 1500m and 3000m and the Team Pursuit. Next weekend, Nov. 18-19, the skaters will travel to Bjugn, (NOR) where the 1000m and the first mass start event will be on the program. These first two competitions in the ISU Junior World Cup of this season will be part of the qualification process for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Innsbruck (AUT). The countries will qualify quota places for the YOG based on the results of their skaters, irrespective of the competitors’ age.

In January and February the third Junior World Cup event will be spread out into three regional competitions in Astana (KAZ), Collalbo (ITA) and Calgary (CAN). The season for the Juniors concludes in March in Obihiro (JPN) after the ISU Junior World Speed Skating Championships on March 2-4, which also counts for points in the World Cup, the Final will take place at the same rink, on March 9-10.

Some of the skaters who achieved medals last season are still Juniors and will participate in Erfurt (GER). Among them are Karolina Erbanová (CZE) and Pien Keulstra (NED), the two top skaters from the 2011 ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships, and Do-Young Park (KOR), last year’s winner of the 3000m. Erbanová dominated the Junior Ladies’ field last season, winning the 500, 1000 and 1500m and also the overall world title. She also had a strong showing in the ISU European Speed Skating Championships for seniors. Pien Keulstra won last year’s World Cup in the 1500m and 3000m. A day before her 18th birthday last week, she beat Ireen Wüst to become the Dutch champion in the 3000m. Jessica Beckert, who was third last year in the Junior World Cup 3000m standings, is expected to do well for Germany.

Of the three Norwegian Men topping the Junior World Championships podium last year, only Simen Spieler Nilsen is still among the junior skaters; of the successful Dutch team only Thomas Krol is left. Tommi Pulli, the Finish sprinter (last year silver in the Men’s 1000m Junior Worlds) is still competing as a Junior and we will also see Tsubasa Hasegawa (JPN) who won the bronze in the 500m.

For further information please contact:
Selina Vanier - ISU Communications Coordinator
E-mail - Phone +41 21 612 66 66

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