“It’s great to win World Cups, but the goal is to win worlds in a couple of weeks.” Brittany Bowe made no secrets of her ambitions after her prolific ISU World Cup Speed Skating campaign in January. Her statement reflects the feeling of most Speed Skaters who are gearing up for the climax of the season. A total of fourteen titles is at stake in four days of Speed Skating at the ISU World Speed Skating Championships in snow-covered Heerenveen on February 11-14.
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 below to get access.
She makes it look easy, but it’s years of hard work paying off. Femke Kok came, saw and conquered four 500m gold medals straight from her first A division start in the ISU World Cup Speed Skating this season. “As a kid I never won anything,” she smiles subdued. Growing up in Drachten near Heerenveen, with parents who both practiced Speed Skating themselves, Kok was raised on the famous Thialf ice rink.
The 2020/21 ISU World Cup Speed Skating Series were shortened, but not less sensational. In two back-to-back weekends at Thialf Stadium in Heerenveen (NED), the remote spectators saw five track records, three skaters who overcame a crash to win a gold medal later on, and two maiden ISU World Cup Speed Skating wins. Young prodigies rose to the occasion, experienced veterans held their own, and a new Team Pursuit strategy proved to be prolific.
The last ISU World Cup Speed Skating event of the season took place this weekend in the Heerenveen Hub. Here is a selection of some of the best pictures of the event.
Experience paid off for Ronald Mulder (NED) on Sunday as the 34-year-old won his career sixth World Cup 500m gold, and his first since November 2017. Kai Verbij (NED) beat compatriot Thomas Krol in the 1000m by skating the second-fastest time ever in Thialf, and Patrick Roest (NED) took 5000m gold ahead of Sweden’s Nils van der Poel, who strengthened his claim for a 10,000m ticket at the ISU World Single Distance Championships in February.
Brittany Bowe (USA) and Femke Kok (NED) each took four gold medals from four World Cup races at the Heerenveen Hub, but Natalia Voronina(RUS) was the biggest sensation at the second and final leg of the ISU World Cup series on Sunday. The 26-year-old smashed the seven-day-old 3000m track record to bounce back from her rusty start to the season.
Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS) got back up again at the second leg of the ISU World Cup speed skating on Saturday. After crashing in last weekend’s first 500m, the Russian world record holder won his first World Cup gold of the season in Heerenveen. Jorrit Bergsma (NED), who got up again on Friday by qualifying for the Mass Start final despite a crash in the semis, followed that up with a powerful break to win the gold medal on Saturday. Meanwhile the undownable Thomas Krol (NED) was in a class of his own again in the 1500m.
Brittany Bowe (USA), Femke Kok (NED) and Irene Schouten (NED) reprised their victories of last week when the ISU World Cup Series continued in the Heerenveen Hub on Saturday. Although the golden trio confirmed themselves as favorites for the World Championships in February, their rivals showed they have far from surrendered just yet.
With a new track record and a back-to-back win Canada’s ladies successfully defended their Team Pursuit overall World Cup title on Friday. Ivanie Blondin, Valérie Maltais and Isabelle Weidemann finished their six laps at Thialf in 2:54.64, more than a second faster than Japan’s 2017 track record (2:55.77). The Netherlands came second and Norway third.
Norway’s men shook up Team Pursuit tactics and ended up smashing the track record at Heerenveen on Friday. Allan Dahl Johansson, Sverre Lunde Pedersen and Hallgeir Engebråten kicked off the second and final World Cup of the season by adopting a novel approach to beat last week’s winners the Netherlands, who eventually came fourth. In the Mass Start semi-finals Jorrit Bergsma (NED) overcame a crash to qualify for Saturday’s final.
The ISU Council met on January 28, 2021 via an online meeting. Find out the decisions taken by the Council during the meeting here.
“The coffee is great.” Peter Kongshaug smiles. Apart from Speed Skating, good coffee is another passion the 19-year-old newbee in the Norwegian squad shares with his older team-mates. After winning the junior title in the 1000m at the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships last season, Kongshaug was promoted to the senior selection last summer.
How are things going to turn out in the second and final leg of this year’s ISU World Cup Speed Skating series in the Heerenveen Hub? The program is a carbon-copy of last week’s. Will home-skaters Patrick Roest and Irene Schouten again be able to skate a track record? Will Thomas Krol and Brittany Bowe continue to dominate the middle distances? And will Pavel Kulizhnikov and Kai Verbij be able to bounce back from their 500m crashes last week?