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News and background stories

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Like last weekend in Chelyabinsk, there were gold medals for Christine Nesbitt and Stefan Groothuis in the 1000m on the last day of the World Cup in Astana. Mariska Huisman and Seung-Hoon finished first in the mass start.

In the women’s 1000m, Christine Nesbitt finished first in 1:14.82, which was 1.30 faster than Thijsje Oenema and Margot Boer, who both skated 1:16.12.

In the men’s 1000m, Stefan Groothuis once again raced to the fastest time: 1:08.85. Second was Kjeld Nuis in 1:08.92 and third was Tae-Bum Mo in 1:09.29.

In the women’s mass start, a new event at the World Cups, Mariska Huisman from the Netherlands finished first. Claudia Pechstein was second, and Bo-Reum Kim was third.

In the men’s mass start, the Korean skaters did not dominate the race, but showed some great tactics in the last lap and finished first and third. Seung-Hoon Lee crossed the finish line first, Hyung-Joon Joo took the bronze. American Jonathan Kuck finished second.

Click here for complete results.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

On the second day of the World Cup in Astana, there were gold medals for Jenny Wolf, Jan Smeekens, Christine Nesbitt and Sven Kramer.

The women’s 500m saw a change in the top position to yesterday’s 500m and probably the closest finish ever in a 500m competition. Jenny Wolf got her speed back and she won her first gold medal this World Cup season. She crossed the finish line in the same time as Sang-Hwa Lee, however Jenny Wolf was 1000th of a second faster than Lee, therefore claiming first place.

Another close call was today’s 500m men. Jan Smeekens won his first gold medal this season when he skated 100th of the second faster than Tae-Bum Mo, yesterday’s gold medalist. Smeekens raced to a time of 35.05, where Mo finished in 35.06.

After her second-place finish last week, Christine Nesbitt got her revenge today by skating the fastest time. She crossed the finish line after 1:56.10, which was 0.67 faster than Claudia Pechstein and 0.90 faster than Ireen Wüst, who finished second and third respectively.

And finally, Sven Kramer was back on the highest step of the podium in the men’s 5000m. With his 6:18.83 he was 1.57 faster than silver medalist Jorrit Bergsma. Third was Alexis Contin in 6:17.43.

Click here for complete results.

Friday, 25 November 2011

This weekend the second World Cup of the season is taking place in Astana, Kazakhstan. On the first day, Olympic gold medalists in Vancouver 2010, Tae-Bum Mo, Martina Sablikova and Sang-Hwa Lee were joined by Wouter Olde Heuvel on the highest step of the podium.

In the women’s 500m, Sang-Hwa Lee stopped the clock at 37.78, which was her first gold medal this season. Jenny Wolf was back on the podium with a second place.

Tae-Bum Mo raced to the fastest time in the men’s 500m when he crossed the finish line after 34.89. He was joined on the podium by Tucker Fredricks (34.94) and Stefan Groothuis (35.01).

Like last week, Martina Sablikova won the women’s 3000m (4:03.28). Claudia Pechstein finished second in 4:03.59 and Diane Valkenburg of the Netherlands finished third in 4:05.36.

The last distance today was the men’s 1500m. Wouter Olde Heuvel, who finished 8th last week, won today’s competition. He finished in a time of 1:45.69. Denny Morrison was back on the podium, claiming a silver medal with his 1:45.80. Last week’s gold medalist Stefan Groothuis finished 6th (1:46.39).

Click here for complete results.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

On the first day of the first World Cup of the season, in Chelyabinsk, there were gold medals for Jing Yu, Pekka Koskela, Martina Sablikova and Stefan Groothuis.

In the first distance of the day, the women’s 500m, Jing Yu finished first in 37.81. Remarkable were the times skated by the athletes who finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th: Maki Tsuji, Thijsje Oenema and Annette Gerritsen all needed 38.22 to complete the distance.

In the men’s 500m, Pekka Koskela crossed the finish line after 35.00, good for a first-place finish. Second was Jan Smeekens in 35.01 and Yuya Oikawa was 3rd in 35.07.

Next up was the women’s 3000m, in which Martina Sablikova ruled with her 4:06.54. Ireen Wüst and Claudia Pechstein finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

And finally, Stefan Groothuis convincingly claimed victory in the men’s 1500m with a new track record. With his 1:45.70 he was 0.57 faster than Shani Davis, who finished 2nd. Third was Ivan Skobrev. All three men on the podium were faster than the old track record.

Best Canadian of the day was Denny Morrison; he finished 5th in the 1500m in 1:46.83.

Click here for complete results.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The second day of the World Cup in Chelyabinsk brought us some surprising results. In the women’s 500m, Ying Yu won, just like she did yesterday, and in the men’s 500m Joji Kato finished first. However, all of you who expected Christine Nesbitt to win the first 1500m of the season, was proven wrong when Ireen Wüst raced to the fastest time in this distance. And in the men’s 5000m, the world saw Sven Kramer standing on the podium again. He did not skate the fastest time, however. Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands crossed the finish line first.

The women’s 500m saw no different outcome than yesterday. Jing Yu was once again the one to beat, when she finished her race in 37.65. Jenny Wolf was back on the podium with a bronze medal today (38.22), after her seventh place yesterday.

Joji Kato, who finished sixth yesterday, raced to the fastest time in the men’s 500m (34.92) today. Pekka Koskela, who won yesterday’s 500m, finished 22nd today.

In the women’s 1500m there was a little surprise, when Christine Nesbitt, who holds the season’s best time (1:56.44), raced to the silver medal. Ireen Wüst (Olympic gold medalist in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics) finished first in a time of 1:57.02.

After being absent for more than a year in international competitions, Sven Kramer made his return today. In the men’s 5000m, he finished second. Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands raced to the fastest time (6:18.74).

Click here for complete results.

Friday, 18 November 2011

On the first day of the first World Cup of the season, in Chelyabinsk, there were gold medals for Jing Yu, Pekka Koskela, Martina Sablikova and Stefan Groothuis.

In the first distance of the day, the women’s 500m, Jing Yu finished first in 37.81. Remarkable were the times skated by the athletes who finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th: Maki Tsuji, Thijsje Oenema and Annette Gerritsen all needed 38.22 to complete the distance.

In the men’s 500m, Pekka Koskela crossed the finish line after 35.00, good for a first-place finish. Second was Jan Smeekens in 35.01 and Yuya Oikawa was 3rd in 35.07.

Next up was the women’s 3000m, in which Martina Sablikova ruled with her 4:06.54. Ireen Wüst and Claudia Pechstein finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

And finally, Stefan Groothuis convincingly claimed victory in the men’s 1500m with a new track record. With his 1:45.70 he was 0.57 faster than Shani Davis, who finished 2nd. Third was Ivan Skobrev. All three men on the podium were faster than the old track record.

Best Canadian of the day was Denny Morrison; he finished 5th in the 1500m in 1:46.83.

Click here for complete results.