The sixth of nine Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating events concluded in Hamar (NOR) on Sunday. Both sprinters and allrounders came for the three-day event which included the long distance that is so popular in Norway.
There were two 500m races. The first one on Friday, where German World Champion Jenny Wolf skated the fastest time ever skated in Europe, 37.52. The second one on Saturday, where Jenny Wolf equaled that first time and again clocked 37.52. Both times, Korean Sang-Hwa Lee finished in second place. First she had 38.07, then 38.19. A Dutch girl finished third, on Friday it was Marianne Timmer with 38.23, on Saturday Annette Gerritsen with 38.33. It would be hard for Wolf to lose the World Cup. She gathered 960 points, second is Annette Gerritsen with 588 points, then Beixing Wang, who is in China for the Chinese Winter Games and keeps her 520 points. Sang-Hwa Lee is fourth with 474 points.
In the 1000m, German Anni Friesinger won with a track record of 1:14.81. Canadian Christine Nesbitt was second in 1:15.84, skating a pair before Friesinger. In the final pair Ireen Wüst of the Netherlands was unable to come close to Friesinger’s speed in the opening laps. She finished 0.01 second behind Nesbitt in third place: 1:15.85. After two second places and three wins, Anni Friesinger is well in the lead with 660 points, Chiara Simionato kept her second position with 440, and then Christine Nesbitt, with 370 points, little ahead of Wüst with 352 points.
In the 1500m, Anni Friesinger did not participate, but there was an impressive win of Ireen Wüst. Her 1:54.64 was over two seconds faster than the next best time, of her team mate Paulien van Deutekom, who had first broken the old track record to a time of 1:56.84. Christine Nesbitt skated 1:57.14 and finished in third. Nesbitt finished on every 1500m podium this year, and keeps the lead in the World Cup ranking with 420 points, Groves is second with 350 and Friesinger third with 280. Anschütz-Thoms (238) and Wüst (218) follow.
In the 5000m ladies, Martina Sábliková (CZE) skated against Claudia Pechstein, the second ranked skater here, with Groenewold out of shape and not present. The Czech world champion on this distance went out from the start and left Pechstein behind. The German, multi Olympic Champion, raced her own race. Both finished faster than the former track record of Gunda Niemann. Pechstein had 6:56.57 and Sábliková 6:51.83, the fastest time on a lowland rink. The last Olympic champion, Clara Hughes (CAN), finished in third place with 7:01.44. Sábliková is still safely in the lead, 480 points, Pechstein is second with 320 points and Clara Hughes moved up to third with 285, followed by Groves, Anschütz and Groenewold.
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