Kramer, who also won in 2007, '08, '09, '10, and '12 is now the only skater in history to win this title six times. Oscar Mathisen (NOR, 1908-1914) and Clas Thunberg (FIN, 1923-1931) won it five times. It was the fourth title for Wüst after 2007, 2011 and 2012. Diane Valkenburg (NED) and Håvard Bøkko (NOR) took silver and Yekaterina Shikhova (RUS) and Bart Swings (BEL) bronze. There were ten Personal Bests, three for the Ladies and seven for the Men.
Wüst was the absolute favourite for the podium in absence of Martina Sáblíkova (CZE). Others who could compete for the medals were Diane Valkenburg and Linda de Vries (NED) and the strongest sprinters of all the participants, Christine Nesbitt (CAN) and possibly the 40-year-old Claudia Pechstein (GER).
Nesbitt won the 500m as expected; her time was 38.60 but the gap with Wüst was not as large as a year earlier. Wüst skated a solid race and reached 39.35. Lotte van Beek (NED) in her first senior championships completed the podium with 39.44.
The 3000m had a few surprises. After a fifth place for Yekaterina Shikhova in the 500m, she finished fourth in the 3000m and with 81.026 points was second in the ranking at the end of day one, in front of Diane Valkenburg who supplemented a seventh place in the 500m with a 4:08.12 silver in the longer distance. A lovely surprise for the home audience came from Ida Njåtun. The young Norwegian skated a strong race and could keep the pace well, finishing in 4:08.64. It brought her not only to the podium for this distance, but also to fourth place in the ranking, ahead of Nesbitt. With only an 18th place on the 3000m Nesbitt no longer seemed in contention for the overall title. Wüst reinforced her position as a favourite by winning the 3000 in 4:05.41. With 80.251 points, her lead on Shikhova was 2.33 seconds before the third distance, the 1500m. Although finishing on fifth's place with 4:10.20, Linda de Vries, 7th in the ranking after day one, could not show the power and rhythm she had in the European Championships where she took silver. Neither could Claudia Pechstein, who was ill and could not speak more than a sentence without serious coughing. Between Nesbitt and De Vries, Russia's Yevgenia Dmitrieva was remarkably high in the ranking. She was a surprise with a personal best in the 500m and 4:10.57 in the 3000.
Quotes on Saturday:
Wüst: I skated two good solid races, technically sound. Nesbitt is a bit disappointing, Diane skates well and I am also surprised by Shikhova. Njåtun rises above herself.
Shikhova: My 3000 was perfect for that ice. It was a good result for me. My 500m was slow, I finally reached a good speed in the final 100m, it felt like a warm-up for the second distance. Tomorrow I will enjoy my 1500m, which is my favourite distance, and we'll see what happens tomorrow.
Valkenburg: I had a rather good day, never started better, even though I had wanted to skate a bit faster in the 3k. I have a good rhythm this season and we will see where it brings us.
Njåtun: This was a surprise. It was heavy but I kept speed. I felt the energy of the audience more than my tiredness, but had not thought this time would be good enough for the podium.
De Vries: It is sad, I had wanted more. I have learned at least that preparation on Tenerife does not work for me. It made me lose my rhythm.
It was no surprise that Claudia Pechstein withdrew the next day for the 1500m. The Dutch skaters showed a strong team performance on that distance: the slowest of their four skaters was Lotte van Beek in sixth place. The first race that indicated the possibilty of a place on the podium, was the 1:57.46 of De Vries in the ninth pair. In the pair that followed, Nesbitt started out strongly, but she faded in the final lap and finished 0.01 second behind De Vries. Valkenburg did not manage to get on the 1500m podium, but her 1:57.87 still secured her second place overall, and she managed to fend off the challenge from Njåtun. The great fireworks, however, came in the final, pairing Wüst and Shikhova. Shikhova took the lead at 300m, but with a strong 28.6 lap Wüst took the lead at 700m. Shikova finished strongly, but Wüst managed to hold on to her lead by the slimmest of margins “ 1:56.30 against 1:56.31 put these two well ahead of the competition, with De Vries completing the podium. After three distances it was Wüst and Shikhova in the lead, with Valkenburg in third. Nesbitt finished just outside the podium, but could draw solace from being presented with the Oscar Mathisen Memorial Trophy for the 2012 season, in recognition of her world record at the 1000m in last year's World Sprint Championships in Calgary, Canada. She was happy with her 1500m result as she developed a hip problem which made withdraw from the final 5000.
In the 5000m, De Vries was first among the favourites. She had to pay in the final laps for an optimistic opening, but with 7:09.23, took the lead from Masaki Hozumi (JPN). Her performance would also prove strong enough to climb ahead of Njåtun overall. Paired with Shikhova, the Norwegian home favourite could not withstand the finishing pace of the Russian skater, who set a personal best of 7:16.48. This already make Shikhova certain of a place on the final podium, the greatest surprise in the Ladies' field from a skater who had started her senior championship career as a 17-year-old ten years ago, as a sprinter. Her margin ahead of Valkenburg after three distances, 6.17 seconds, would however not be large enough for silver. In the final pair Wüst and Valkenburg posted the two best times of the day, with Wüst winning in 7:05.13 ahead of Valkenburg's 7:07.07. De Vries completed an all-Dutch podium on the 5000m. In the overall classification Wüst had a solid margin of victory with 161.530, more than a full point ahead of Valkenburg's 163.120 and Shikhova's 163.444.
Quotes on Sunday:
Wüst: I am just as good as in 2007, then Sábliková won the longest distance, but she is not here. I am happy with how I skated. As long as I win the title, I don't look at statistics.
Valkenburg: I knew I was good, I made some mistakes, especially in the 1500m, but I knew that with a good 5k everything was still possible. I saw that Shikhova skated 7:16 and knew that I had to be below 7:10. After the start I immediately got into my rhythm and could keep up the 33 laps.
Shikhova: This allround result means a lot to me, it was 13 years ago that a Russian was on the overall podium. Skating is not a popular sport in Russia but it should gain interest for the Olympics in our country. My 1500m was great, I really wanted to win. I like to skate with Wüst. My 3000 was very good, I have been working with Marchetto on long distances. A personal best in the 5000 completed a very good weekend.
De Vries: Fourth in the end is not so bad, I know that but I am still sad that one poor 500m spoiled my tournament.
Njåtun: This is the best I have done. My 5000 was a little weak but it was a fun weekend.
If it was clear beforehand that Wüst was the main favourite in the Ladies' field, the favourite in the men's field was even more obvious. Sven Kramer's impressive series of victories have given him an aura of invincibility: when he competes, he wins, whatever the distance.
Behind him, the contenders for the remaining podium places were expected to be his compatriots Jan Blokhuijsen and Koen Verweij, who completed the podium last year, Ivan Skobrev, the champion in the one year that Kramer did not compete, and the Norwegians Håvard Bøkko and Sverre Lunde Pedersen - and possibly Jonathan Kuck (USA), who was the runner-up in 2010. Former inline world champion Bart Swings (BEL) has a good season on ice with the potential to be a strong allrounder.
In the 500m, Zbigniew Bródka kept up the Polish tradition of 500m wins. He also won last year. There were six personal bests in this distance, half of them for the Polish skaters. Bródka's winning Personal Best was 35.80. But the largest improvement of a Personal Best was made by Swings, who went through the 37-second barrier to post 36.73.
Brodka was paired with Bøkko, and both did well. Opening in 10.0, Bøkko was a bit faster but Bródka had the fastest lap in the field with 25.7. Bøkko's 36.01 was among his best 500m times on a lowland rink. It gave him a larger than ever advantage on Kramer: 7 seconds on the 5000m as Kramer finished in 36.71. In the final pair Haralds Silovs (LAT) managed to grab the third podium spot with 36.20, while Blokhuijsen wasn't as good as expected, finishing 8th. Verweij and Lunde Pedersen had similar times (36.65 and 36.68).
In the 5000m, Kramer was the first of the favourites to start. Verweij was leading at that point with 6:24.35, Renz Rotteveel (NED) only just behind him with 6:25.12 and a not-so-strong Kuck in third. Kramer had to set a great time, not knowing what Bøkko would do but knowing he had to make up those 7 seconds. He was the only one who managed to not just start with 29 laps, but stick to them. He finished in 6:13.42, a good time considering the high air pressure of 1025 millibar. His total points came to 74.052. After him, there were two spectacular races. First between Bøkko and Skobrev. Bøkko took the lead but could not get his laps below 30 and gradually lost his advantage on Kramer. Skobrev followed 2 seconds behind him, but the Russian managed to bring his laps down with a few 29 laps and even a 28.8 in the last part of his race, overtaking Bøkko two laps before the end. Skobrev finished in 6:19.06 and 74.696 points. Bøkko reached 6:22.00 but stayed ahead of Skobrev in the ranking with 74.210 points.
The next spectacular race was between Swings and Lunde Pedersen. They started faster than Bøkko had done and alternated high 29 with low 30 laps. Swings was slightly in the lead, but in the end Lunde Pedersen managed to close the gap. In the final lap, Swings was the stronger one again but just missed the time of Skobrev: 6:19.72. Lunde Pedersen did 6:20.06.
The young Norwegian reached third place in the ranking with 74.666 and Swings was also one of the four behind Kramer competing for overall honour with 74.702 points. In the final pair, Blokhuijsen once again finished 8th in 6:25, and declared he simply was not fit and missed the power he had earlier this season I could not make more speed. It felt like skating with the brakes on.
Quotes day one:
Bøkko: I feel no pressure, Kramer will win anyhow. It was a good 500 and I know what I must do.
Lunde Pedersen: I hope for a good 1500m. My goal was top-5 and it is very close in the top. It was a good fight with Swings.
Swings: It was fun to skate with Lunde Pedersen. I felt like I got support from the crowd as well. There are four guys close together to skate for the podium. My goal was to reach the 5000m podium, and a top-8 rank, but now I will see what I can do to take that third place.
Kramer: It came from my toes, I could not have skated any faster. It is nice for the audience that the Norwegians are ranked high, but of course I have to have my own interest in mind.
In the 1500m Kramer's main goal was to be on top after three distances. He skated with Bøkko in the final pair. At that point the fastest time was Bródka's, 1:46.49 ahead of Swings 1:46.51. Kramer and Bøkko gave everything, Bøkko had the best finish and won in 1:46.34. Kramer's 1:46.75 gave him fourth place and was enough to stay in the lead pointwise with 109.635, while Bøkko had 109.656. Swings moved ahead of Skobrev and Lunde Pedersen. Koen Verweij then decided that his back did not allow him to skate the final distance, allowing Silovs to race the 10,000m, which brought the Latvian to the same 7th place as last year.
In the final 10,000m the race of Lunde Pedersen drew cheers from the audience, but the fight for the medals both on the distance and overall started with the race Bøkko vs. Swings. It was an even fight until there were four laps left, then Swings managed to draw ahead and finishing in 13:11.91, while Bøkko's 13:15.83 brought him into the lead overall and made him certain of a podium place with only the final pair to go. Skobrev was no match for Kramer in the last pair, and seeing he could not reach a distance medal he took it easy and dropped to fifth place overall. With one of his trademark flat races, being able to pace himself towards the leading time of Swings, Kramer finished in 13:11.86 and clinched his victory on the distance as well as his record sixth World Allround title. Bøkko made a stronger showing than in Moscow last year and pleased the home crowd with silver overall, while Swings could be very satisfied with bronze overall and three distance medals.
Kramer: The 1500m was heavy, I skate too few of them but really wanted to lead into the 10,000 and I had not expected to manage that. At the 10k you don't want your legs to hurt but you also don't want to lose, that is a struggle in your mind. I knew what I had to do to win the title, but my coach told me a few laps before the end that I needed 30-second laps to win the distance. That was hard, I tried to hit it, and the 0.05 margin was smaller than it should have been but enough to win. The margin to Bøkko was not that large. I know I made history this weekend, but I don't realize that now.
Bøkko: My shape was good, I had four of my best races this season and cannot think of anything I could have done better. After my 5000 I knew I had to go for second place. But I was closer than I thought before the weekend started.
Swings: I am happy to have kept the third place. I aimed at 13:08, my personal best, but that was just too much, I realized that when I saw Lunde Pedersen skate. To stay ahead of him I knew my laps should stay below 32 seconds, and in the end I still managed to make more speed. This is my second best time ever on the 10,000, I consider the 1500 and the 5000 my best distances.
Lunde Pedersen: The 1500m was disappointing for me. It is hard to compete at top level, especially with championships at home, when there is so much publicity. It cost too much energy, but my goal was top-5 and I reached that.