The fourth leg of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating series 2018/2019 in Heerenveen is the last qualifying event for the major Championships in January and February. After some of speed skating's superstars decided to skip last week's World Cup races in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland, this weekend's competition will feature the strongest field possible.
Take a look at the many highlights of the first ever ISU World Cup Speed Skating in the Arena Lodowa in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland.
The Netherlands secured the Team Sprint World Cup as they came second in the last race of the season in Tomaszów Mazowiecki on Sunday. Norway won the race to claim their first Team Sprint gold medal of the season, while Marcel Bosker (NED) edged out two Russian rivals to take gold in the 10,000m.
Esmee Visser (NED) got back to winning ways in Tomaszów Mazowiecki on Sunday as she took gold in the 5000m and bounced back from her 12th place in the 3000m in Tomakomai two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Japan clinched the Ladies' Team Sprint gold medal despite the absence of star skater Nao Kodaira as Russia secured top spot in the overall Team Sprint ranking.
Vanessa Herzog (AUT) skated another impeccable 500m to take her second gold medal of the weekend in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, while Miho Takagi (JPN) clinched her first World Cup 1500m gold of the season.
Russia dominated the men's competition on the second day of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland. Pavel Kulizhnikov, who won the 500m and the 1000m on Friday, skated yet another track record to win the 500m, while Denis Yuskov took gold in the 1500m.
Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS) won the 500m and the 1000m while the Japanese men claimed Team Pursuit gold on the first day of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in the Arena Lodowa in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland.
Track records are to be expected at the Arena Lodowa, when the world's fastest speed skaters line-up for the third leg of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Tomaszów Mazowiecki this weekend. The newly built indoor track opened its doors last year and hosted its first international event, when the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating visited two weeks ago.
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.