Canada's Speed Skating future shines bright. At the first ISU Junior World Cup of the 2018/19 season, Canadian skaters topped the medal table with seven gold medals, five silvers and five bronzes. Two other traditional powerhouses, the Netherlands (6-3-2) and Russia (4-5-4), were second and third.
Tomakomai saw a many firsts. Isabelle Weidemann (CAN) won her first individual World Cup medal, in ladies' 3000m, while Bart Swings (BEL) and Vitaly Mikhailov (BLR) won the first gold of their World Cup careers in 5000m and 1500m respectively. Meantime, the Japanese pleased the home crowed with a good start, winning three of the four events on the first day of competition.
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.
The new Indoor Arena in Tomaszów Mazowiecki (POL) will host its first international Speed Skating races this weekend. The ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating 2018/19 series will debut at the Arena Lodowa and will be the first of a three leg event. The start lists will feature many new names, because most of last year's Champions are trying their luck in the senior ranks this season.
Will the Japanese Ladies and the Russian Men be able to bring their season-opening form from the indoor rink at Obihiro to the Tomakomai Highland Sports Center this weekend? The coast city, situated 200 kilometre west from Obihiro on the Japanese Hokkaido island, hosts the first outdoor ISU World Cup Speed Skating event since German Inzell in 2008.
The Japanese ladies gave the home crowd something to cheer in Obihiro after winning the Team Pursuit and going on to win two gold medals and one silver. Olympic 5000m Champion Esmee Visser (NED) won her career first World Cup gold medal in the Ladies' 3000m on Sunday, while Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS) smashed the opposition in the Men's 1000m. Håvard Lorentzen (NOR) took 500m gold.
Pavel Kulizhnikov left Olympic Champion Kjeld Nuis more than half a second behind to win the Men's 1000m on the final day of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating first leg in Obihiro. Patrick Roest dominated the 5000m and the Netherlands won the Team Sprint.
After two days of sovereign skating on home soil, the Japanese ladies were not able to collect more golds on the final day of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating first leg in Obihiro. Vanessa Herzog won the 1000m, while Esmee Visser clinched her career first World Cup gold in the 3000m, and Russia took home Team Sprint gold.