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Speed/Short Track Skating - 22. November 2010.

Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating

Whereas last weekend’s events seemed to run true to form, this weekend there were some real surprises! For the first time in history, an American lady won the 3000m, a Norwegian lady climbed the 1500m podium, and a Korean won the 5000m. The Finn Pekka Koskela, after winning the B-division 500m on the first day, won the A-division in the next race.

jenny wolf wins in at The ISU World Cup Speed Skating Championships Essent 2010


Ladies
In the ladies’ 500m, local favourite Jenny Wolf won her 41st and 42nd World Cup race (along with 12 successes in the 100m). She skated the first in 38.08, and the second in 37.98. Margot Boer (NED) did well with 38.66 and 38.46 respectively, and shared bronze and silver with Sang-Hwa Lee. The Olympic Champion from Korea finished on the podium again in 38.24 and 38.56. Laurine van Riessen (NED), who was fourth in the ranking after the first race, fell in the second race and dropped to 6th, after a personal best 100m opener of 10.31, only 0.01 behind Wolf. In the rankings, Boer – with 300 points – is lying second behind Wolf’s perfect 400, while Lee has 270 points and Nao Kodaira (JPN) 240.

In the 1000m, which was held on Sunday, Olympic Champion Christine Nesbitt (CAN) recorded almost the same time as in Heerenveen: 1:15.86. The surprise here came from Heather Richardson (USA), who achieved her first World Cup podium finish with 1:16.31, ahead of Margot Boer with 1:16.51 (compared with last week’s 1:16.50). Van Riessen was just 0.01 short of the podium. In the rankings, Nesbitt has a perfect 200 points, while Boer has 150, and Richardson 130.

The 1500m took place on Friday. After winning in the B-division last week, 19-year-old Norwegian Ida Njåtun skated her first race in division A. She lowered her personal best from 1.59.10 to 1.57.99 in a field where only seven skaters managed a time below two minutes. “I just decided to have fun in my A-division debut”, she declared. “This is a huge surprise.” She kept her lead until the last pair, where last week’s winner Christine Nesbitt was paired with Olympic champion Ireen Wüst (NED). Wüst took third place overall with 1:58.93, almost a second behind Njåtun, but Nesbitt squeezed into first place with 1:57.03 and leads with 200 points ahead of Wüst (150) and Klassen (120).

In Saturday’s 3000m, Olympic Champion Martina Sáblíková (CZE) was back after a week of illness. She had adjusted her technique a little, to adapt to the new rule (where you can’t go into the outer lane when coming from the inner turn) and set a very respectable time of 4:05.83. As she skated in the first pair instead of the usual last, she set a benchmark for others to match. In the 7th pair, Jilleanne Rookard (USA) surprised everyone by starting quickly and keeping up a good speed with no lap slower than 32.9, and her time was the best: 4:04.39. In the tenth pair, last week’s winner, Stephanie Beckert (GER), the Olympic silver medallist, was still to come. She started slowly, as usual, against last week’s runner-up Cindy Klassen (CAN). Klassen set out quickly but didn’t have enough energy in reserve for the final laps. Beckert managed a 32.1 final lap, but she had lost too much ground in the first half of the race, and finished third in 4:06.12. It was the first-ever World Cup victory at this distance for an American lady. She moves up to second overall with 140 points, behind Beckert with 170. Groves follows with 120.

In the Team Pursuit, the Norwegians – with Njåtun, Bøkko and Hemmer skating in a solid formation – finished in 3:06.67. Their time proved hard to beat until the Dutch – with Wüst, Voorhuis and Joling – managed 3:05.50, but again that time did not stand: the young German team, with Beckert, Ost and Bay, won in 3:04.91. The Canadians in the final pair didn’t manage to finish, after Groves fell. One of the Japanese skaters also fell. This resulted in another medal for the Norwegian team.

Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating – Berlin (GER) - Medal Winners

500m Ladies


1

Jenny Wolf

GER

38.08

2

Sang-Hwa Lee

KOR

38.24

3

Margot Boer

NED

38.66

500m Ladies


1

Jenny Wolf

GER

37.98

2

Margot Boer

NED

38.46

3

Sang-Hwa Lee

KOR

38.56


500m Men


1

Joji Kato

JPN

35.03

2

Jan Smeekens

NED

35.04

3

Kang-Seok Lee

KOR

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