The third Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating event took place in a new high tech ice rink of Kolomna, Russia, 100km southeast of Moscow. The event saw track records set at the highest levels. 36 personal bests were set as well as 7 national records for Poland; Denmark, Austria, Ukraine, Czech Republic, France, and Switzerland.
The ladies skated the 5000m on Saturday. Martina Sáblíková from Czech Republic lived up to her record, winning the distance, as she had done at the previous two World Cups. She took the podium with 6:53.67, leaving the silver medal for Clara Hughes, Canada, who posted 6:56.63. Third place was for the German skater Daniela Anschütz-Thoms, who with 6:58.58 kept multiple Olympic Champion Claudia Pechstein behind her, finishing with 6:59.96.
Sáblíková’s performance was a great win, made even more interesting by some exceptional skating in B division. There were 12 skaters in the A-division, outside of this contingent in the B-Division Gretha Smit from the Netherlands took the spotlight. She showed that she has real potential on her favorite distance, and won the B-division in a new track record time of 6:53.63, 0.04 of a second faster than the winning time of Sábliková.
On Sunday, the ladies skated the 1500m. Anni Friesinger (Germany) won in a new track record of 1:55.39, and her opening of 25,43 won the race for her. Christine Nesbitt from Canada was slower in the laps, opening in 26,24 and finishing in the end in 1:56.00, which gave her second place. The battle for the last podium spot took place in the final pair, where Daniela Anschütz-Thoms had her second third-place finish of the weekend leaving Kristina Groves the fourth place.
In the 1500m rankings, Nesbitt leads, Groves is second with Friesinger third.