The ISU World Cup Speed Skating Series 2016/17 continued today in Nagano’s M-wave stadium (JPN) with the Ladies’ 3000 m and Men’s 5000 m. Martina Sábliková (CZE) and Sven Kramer (NED) confirmed their supremacy both winning in new track records. The ice conditions proved to be good, with seven personal best times, including all four Japanese men in the B-division, and quite a few skaters came close to their best time ever.
Martina Sábliková remains unbeaten in the Ladies’ 3000 m
Sábliková took the victory, just like last weekend. Antoinette de Jong (NED) earned the silver medal and Anna Yurakova (RUS) made her podium debut with bronze.
De Jong was the first to break the old track record held by Canadian Kristina Groves. In a good race with lap times slowing down slightly, she finished in 4:04.53, but in the final pair she lost her lead. Sábliková raced away from Marije Joling (NED), to finish almost a second faster than De Jong, in 4:03.56. Surprising was the bronze for Yurakova. The 24-year-old from Kaluga had taken the initiative in her race against 44-year-old Claudia Pechstein (GER) and never gave it away. She took the bronze in 4:05.24, Pechstein’s fast final lap brought her to 4:05.51, enough to keep Ireen Wüst (NED) behind her and finished in fourth.
Joling, last week’s runner up, finished in eighth place and dropped to third place in the World Cup ranking, with 115 points. De Jong is second with 140 and Sábliková harvested a full 200 points. Yurakova climbed to fourth with 105.
Sven Kramer reaches 39th individual victory with ease
Kramer’s chain of individual World Cup victories got its 39th bead. Jorrit Bergsma (NED) settled again for the silver medal and their compatriot Douwe de Vries won bronze.
Kramer took the lead from the start but let Bergsma come next to him, which benefited both skaters. But after 3000 m, Kramer’s laps got faster. Bergsma could answered back, but with two laps to go, Kramer turboed a 28.9 lap, creating a 0.6 lead that remained in the end: Kramer finished in 6:15.17, Bergsma in 6:15.70, both below Kramer’s former track record.
The first to finish within 6:20 was De Vries. He fought hard to leave his pair mate Peter Michael (NZL) behind him and did so with a second: Michael finished in 6:18.64, De Vries in 6:17.65. This time was barely faster than the personal best time of Erik Jan Kooiman, who started in the next pair. Kooiman had finished on the podium last week, so was a force to be reckoned with. But Kooiman, who reeled his pairmate Bart Swings (BEL) in to finish in 6:18.58, just missed that mark and reached fourth overall. Swings lost too much time in the last few laps and dropped to 6th overall in 6:21.21.
Kramer leads the World Cup with 200 points and Bergsma who won his second silver of the season, has 160. Kooiman is third still with 130, followed now by De Vries with 115. Swings and Michael are not far behind him.
The ISU World Cup Speed Skating continues tomorrow for Ladies and Men with the 1000 m, followed by the Team Pursuit and the Team Sprint.