On an emotion-fuelled final day of the ISU World Single Distances Championships, Ireen Wüst (NED) won the 1500m in a track record time and tearfully dedicated her title to her friend and former World Allround champion Paulien van Deutekom, who died in January. Wüst's compatriot Irene Schouten won her career second world title in the Mass Start.
The Dutch dominated the men’s podium in Inzell on Saturday as Kai Verbij (NED) clinched the Netherlands’ first individual gold medal of the World Single Distances Championships. The European Sprint champion won the 1000m, with compatriots Thomas Krol and Kjeld Nuis collecting silver and bronze, before Jorrit Bergsma (NED) took gold in the 10,000m narrowly ahead of runner-up Patrick Roest (NED), with only bronze medallist Danila Smerikov (RUS) preventing an all-orange afternoon.
In a triumph for age and experience, veteran Martina Sáblíková (CZE) managed to fend off the challenge of 23-year-old Olympic champion Esmee Visser (NED) to win her tenth consecutive 5000m world title in Inzell on Saturday. Also on Day 3 of racing at the World Single Distances Championships, the Ladies’ 1000m was won by Brittany Bowe (USA), who left 500m aces Vanessa Herzog (AUT) and Nao Kodaira (JPN) behind to top the podium for the first time since 2015.
Ruslan Murashov (RUS) stepped out of the shadow of his feted countryman Pavel Kulizhnikov to win the first world title of his career on Thursday. The 26-year-old took gold in the 500m at the World Single Distances Championships in Inzell, while world record holder Kulizhnikov could only finish seventh. To conclude the second day of competition, Netherlands won gold in the Men’s Team Pursuit, taking revenge on Norway for the semi-final defeat at last year’s Olympic Winter Games.
After racing unbeaten in the 500m since November 2016, sprint queen Nao Kodaira (JPN) finally lost her crown to Vanessa Herzog (AUT) at the ISU World Single Distances Championships on Thursday. The Austrian challenger skated a personal best and a track record (37.12) on the rink in Inzell that she calls home. In the Team Pursuit, Japanese honour was restored when Japan ladies defeated the Netherlands by 0.42 seconds to take home gold.
Today Douwe de Vries from the Netherlands was elected to the ISU Athletes Commission as the Speed Skating representative.
Sven Kramer (NED) lost his 100 percent record in the 5000m at the ISU World Single Distances Championships when Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR) skated an immaculate race in Inzell on Thursday to dethrone the king and grab his first world title. Kramer ended up in third place and Patrick Roest (NED) took silver. Before the long-distance surprise, the Dutch men won the new Team Sprint event.
Martina Sáblíková (CZE) found redemption in Inzell on Thursday after losing her Olympic 5000m title in PyeongChang a year ago. The 32-year-old Czech veteran, who had struggled with a back injury that caused her to consider quitting in the run-up to the Olympic Winter Games, proved she has returned stronger than ever, winning gold in the 3000m in a track record on the first day of the ISU World Single Distances Championships. The Dutch ladies opened the championships with the first ever Team Sprint gold.
While the best senior skaters compete for the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championship titles in Inzell, the champions of the future meet at the ISU Junior World Cup final in Baselga di Piné on 9-10 February. After the first two legs in Tomaszów Mazowiecki (POL) and Helsinki (FIN), Robin Groot (NED) and Hallgeir Engebråten (NOR) are on their way to win multiple World Cup distances.
Let's have a look back at the highlights of the record breaking performances at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating event in Hamar (NOR).
Denis Yuskov (RUS) took his third 1500m gold medal of the season but the crowd inside Hamar's Vikingskipet – with Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg among them – cheered louder for Håvard Bøkko (NOR) collecting the silver medal. The Norwegian took his first individual World Cup medal since the 2012/2013 season. In the 500m Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS) showed a little ShortTrack trick to stay on his feet in the inner corner and win his second gold medal of the weekend.
After Saturday's 1000m win, Brittany Bowe (USA) took another gold medal in the 1500m on Sunday. Dutch youngster Joy Beune won her career first individual World Cup medal clinching the bronze. Vanessa Herzog (AUT) took advantage of the absence of Saturday's winner Nao Kodaira (JPN) in the 500m. Despite a slower race on Sunday, the European Sprint champion collected the gold medal.
Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS) took charge in the 500m World Cup ranking winning gold with what he described as a "so-so race". Kai Verbij (NED) led a Dutch podium sweep in the 1000m, but the European Champion did not skate the race of his life either. Both men considered the Hamar World Cup as a preparatory race for next week's showdown at the World Single Distance Championships in Inzell, Germany.