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Speed/Short Track Skating - 14. February 2011.

Essent ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships – Calgary (CAN)

Ireen Wüst (NED) has won the World Allround title. The allround skaters celebrated their World Championships on the fast ice of Calgary.  24 ladies participated in total

Ladies
The favourites for the podium were Martina Sáblíkova (CZE), former champion Ireen Wüst (NED), and world sprint champion Christine Nesbitt (CAN). Nesbitt won the 500m as expected: her 37.72 was a personal best time, and well ahead of 18-year-old Karolina Erbanová (CZE), who was also already on the podium last year at this distance. Her 38.22 was a new Czech record. The third place on the podium was shared by two Dutch skaters: Wüst and Marrit Leenstra. Sáblíkova had her first sub-40 500m, although with 39.49 she lost almost a second to Wüst. There were a total of 17 personal bests at this distance.

Sáblíková won the 3000m in a new NR of 3:55.55, and Ireen Wüst finished right behind her. She, too, improved her best time, with 3:58.01. She took the lead overall with 78.198 points, as Nesbitt’s new personal best was 4:03.44, which was only 8th in the distance and brought her 78.293 points. Stephanie Beckert took third place with 4:00.77, but she had been last in the 500m (just like Erbanová was last in the 3000). Marrit Leenstra was impressive, and improved her 3000 by 5.5 seconds to 4:02.74, and her 78.986 points kept her close to the podium, where Nesbitt stood second overall and Sáblíkova third with 78.748. There were 14 personal bests in the 3000m, including the Czech record.

On Sunday, the 1500m came first. Sábliková was paired with Leenstra, but the defending champion was far behind her best time and could only manage 1:55.61. It was Leenstra who took the lead. There were some flaws in the first part of the race, but she managed to pick it up. She had the fastest final lap and improved her personal best to 1:53.88. But the fireworks really came in the final pair; Wüst with Nesbitt. The latter is used to winning at this distance, and opened in a fast 25.05, keeping the lead until 1100m, but Wüst had the better laps and after 27.5 and 28.6 she managed also to have a 30.8 last lap and finish in 1:52.59. Thus Wüst won, and Nesbitt was second in 1:53.22. Wüst increased her lead overall, totaling 115.728 points, while Nesbitt had 116.033, Leenstra 116.946, and Sábliková had 117.284. There were 11 personal bests at this distance.

In the 5000m, Nesbitt managed 7:09.69, the slowest time of the 12 skaters at this distance. Wüst’s lead going into the final distance was 3.05 seconds over Nesbitt, and most importantly 15.56 seconds on Sábliková. Wüst was confident that it would be enough, and it was. She even took the lead for 2200m and when Sábliková passed the 3000m mark, Wüst followed within a second. Sábliková would struggle to make up the difference in the remaining five laps. Then disaster struck her. She fell coming out of the turn when she tried to return to the stride pattern she uses on the straights. Wüst continued the race to a personal best of 6:55.85 and to the title. Sábliková got up and finished the race in 7:00.04, enough for the allround podium. The distance win went to Beckert, whose 6:49.51 was a personal best. Masako Hozumi became the first Japanese to finish 7, minutes and her 6:56.35 brought her to the distance podium. There were eight personal bests. In the classification there were NR points for Wüst, Sáblíková and Rookard. Wüst was champion in 157.313 points, Nesbitt was second with 158.939, Sábliková third with 159.288, and Leenstra fourth with 159.620.
Wüst: “It feels bizarre. I surprised myself. I wanted to start slowly, but attacking is more my style. I’m sorry she fell, but I would have won anyway. It gives so much satisfaction to win this title again. Since 2007, I’ve been second or third, but only titles count.”

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