Dutch skaters filled the top five places in the men’s 1500m in Heerenveen on Saturday, with a superb Thomas Krol leading the pack in the second fastest time ever skated in Thialf: one minute and 43.24 seconds. The Netherlands’ domination continued in the other men’s events on the second day of the first ISU World Cup event in the 2020/2021 season, with Dai Dai Ntab and Arjan Stroetinga taking gold in the 500m and Mass Start respectively.
“I’m super excited and grateful to be here and skate against the best in the world,” said USA’s Brittany Bowe after winning the ladies’ 1500m in Heerenveen on Saturday, voicing the feeling of many skaters, especially those from outside Europe, at the first ISU World Cup event of the season. Femke Kok (NED), who took bronze at last week’s European Sprint Championships, collected gold in her favorite 500m and Irene Schouten (NED) won the Mass Start by outsprinting Ivanie Blondin (CAN) in the final lap.
Canada’s ladies started their international speed skating season with a big surprise at the first leg of the ISU World Cup in Heerenveen on Friday. Ivanie Blondin, Valérie Maltais and Isabelle Weidemann won their Team Pursuit, skating the second fastest time ever at Thialf Stadium in 2 minutes and 56.71 seconds. The Netherlands had to settle for silver on home ice in 2:57.04, while Norway followed more than two seconds later in third.
The Netherlands kicked off the World Cup 2020/2021 series with a gold medal in the men's Team Pursuit in Heerenveen on Friday. Veteran captain Sven Kramer led youngsters Chris Huizinga and Beau Snellink past Olympic champions Norway by more than a second, with Canada only 0.08 seconds behind in third. In the semi-finals of the Mass Start, Austrian prodigy Gabriel Odor qualified for the Saturday final.
“I’ve never seen anybody doing what he does’, says Sweden coach Joël Eriksson admiringly about Nils van der Poel. “He’s an unbelievable kid.” The 24-year-old stunned the international Speed Skating world when he broke the nine-year-old track record the 10,000m in Inzell at a training race last December. It was his first official race after a two-year absence from Speed Skating. He was in the army and competed in ultrarunning instead. “There’s a lot of different ways that lead to Rome”, Van der Poel says without the slightest hesitation.
The condensed International Speed Skating season in the Heerenveen Hub resumes with the first of two ISU World Cup Speed Skating events on Friday 22 January. After the ISU European Speed Skating Championships last weekend, this will be the first chance for Skaters from the other continents to see how they stand at an International level. The 2020/21 ISU World Cup Speed Skating series, which comprises of two events in Thialf in back-to-back weekends, will also serve as one of the qualifying events for quota places at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships 2021 in February.
Don’t miss any of the action from the season’s thrilling races from the Heerenveen Speed Skating Hub, which will be streamed live to all fans on the ISU Skating YouTube page. Make sure you subscribe to the channel to receive live stream notifications. Some geo-restrictions will apply on YouTube, but if you find yourself unable to watch the stream, check out one of the channels indicated here to get access.
Have a look at the selection of some of the top pictures of the ISU European Speed Skating Championships that took place this weekend. It was the first event in the Hub of Heerenveen. Stay tuned for the next ones.
What a difference a day makes for Jutta Leerdam (NED). On Saturday she grumbled about doing everything wrong; on Sunday she found redemption and beat Angelina Golikova (RUS) for the Ladies’ Sprint title at the ISU European Speed Skating Championships in Thialf, Heerenveen. Thomas Krol (NED) cashed in on his first-day advantage to take the Men’s Sprint title.
Antoinette de Jong (NED) overcame her doubts after a disappointing first day in Heerenveen to win the Allround title at the ISU European Speed Skating Championships. The defending champion proved to be the Ladies’ field’s most complete speed skater, ahead of silver medalist Irene Schouten (NED) and Martina Sáblíková (CZE), who took bronze to claim a record 12th podium spot in the European Allround Championships. In the Men’s field Patrick Roest added a career-first European Allround title to his three World Allround victories.
Kai Verbij (NED) blew his chance to take a third consecutive European Sprint title crashing fifty meters into his first 500m race on Saturday. The defending champion left the field wide open and his good friend and teammate Thomas Krol (NED) stepped up to the occasion taking the lead after the first day of the Men’s sprint championships on Saturday. Angelina Golikova leads the Ladies’ Sprint tournament after winning the 500m and coming fourth in the 1000m.
Antoinette de Jong and Patrick Roest lead the Allround classifications after the first day of the ISU European Speed Skating Championships on home ice at Thialf on Saturday. Three-time World Allround Champion Roest seems to be cruising towards his career-first European Allround championship, but De Jong faces a tough battle in defense of her 2019 title. With a Championship record in the 3000m, Irene Schouten kept the pressure on her compatriot for a thrilling climax on the second day.
The ISU Council, in consultation with the Japan Skating Federation, decided to cancel the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships 2021 in Hachinohe City, JPN, planned on February 19-21, 2021.
It will be different in many respects, but the first international Speed Skating event of the Heerenveen Hub is bound to be spectacular. For the first time since 2005 both Sven Kramer and Ireen Wüst (NED) will not be present at the ISU European Allround Speed Skating Championships. The multiple champions leave the field wide open to eager youngsters, while Kai Verbij (NED) and Vanessa Herzog (AUT) will face tough competition in defense of their ISU European Sprint Speed Skating Championships title.
Four events in five weeks. The pre-Olympic Speed Skating season has been cut short, but the hub-concept in Heerenveen will provide the Skaters as well as fans with spectacular action. The ISU has been, and still is very cautious regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the hub in the Netherlands, a competition Bubble with different levels are set up to guarantee the safety of everyone involved. Fans are not allowed in the stadium, but the spectacle on the ice will be widely available on television and live streams.