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.
Russia's Aleksandr Rumyantsev, Danila Semerikov and Sergey Trofimov have surprisingly won the first Team Pursuit race of the 2018-2019 ISU World Cup Speed Skating season in Obihiro. Olympic 500m champion Håvard Lorentzen (NOR) was the fastest man on the shortest distance again.
The Japanese ladies gave the home crowd two gold medals to cheer for at the start of the 2018-2019 ISU World Cup Speed Skating season in Obihiro on Friday. Nao Kodaira won the 500m, while Ayano Sato and the Takagi-sisters Miho and Nana dominated the Team Pursuit.
The post-Olympic long track Speed Skating season holds a lot in store. Even before the first major international clash, eight Skaters already clocked sub-35 races in the Men's 500m.
Sports is all about competition, but even the fiercest sporting rivalries often lead to close friendships too. Here's the story of Korean Sang-Hwa Lee and Japanese Nao Kodaira, enemies on the ice, but friends in real life.