News and background stories

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

After about two weeks of temperatures below zero, hundreds of thousands of Dutch people put on their skates in January. For the first time in about twelve years canals and lakes were frozen over, leading to a true skate mania. However, some people were a bit too enthusiastic and got on the ice when it was not thick enough.

Check out the following video for the result of this enthusiasm.

Friday, 13 February 2009


Exactly a year from now, on Saturday 13 February 2010, the Olympic long track speed skating events will kick off in Richmond with the men’s 5000m. Will Chad Hedrick successfully defend his Olympic title or will Sven Kramer or someone else climb on the highest step of the Olympic podium? Just one more year to go and we will find out! To celebrate this exciting occasion, Speedskating-online is happy to present the first of many Olympic videos we are planning to post.


Our first video is a presentation of the Richmond Olympic Oval, the venue of the Olympic long track speed skating events, but make sure to stay tuned for more Olympic material, like Dan Jansen’s gold medal race in Hamar, Italy’s gold medal in the Team Pursuit, and Johann-Olav Koss’ amazing 13.30.55.


Click here for the video of the Richmond Olympic Oval.

Sunday, 8 February 2009


 After victories in respectively the 5000m and 10k, Martina Sablikova and Sven Kramer were crowned World Champions All-round in Hamar today. In the 1500m, Kristina Groves and Håvard Bøkko finished first.


Today’s first distance, the 1500m for women, saw two Canadian women climb on the highest two steps of the podium. After numerous medals at the World Cups in the 1500m as well as the 1000m, today Kristina Groves finished first in a time of 1:56.17. The silver medal was for Christine Nesbitt, also very successful in the middle distances at the World Cups this season. Nesbitt raced to a 1:56.49. Ireen Wüst finished third in 1:56.78.


Click here for video highlights of the women’s 1500m.


Håvard Bøkko and Sven Kramer battled each other in the last pair of the men’s 1500m for the gold medal, a fight that Bøkko won in 1:44.83, where Kramer needed 1:45.01. Trevor Marsicano finished third in 1:45.37.


Click here for video highlights of the men’s 1500m and a video of Kramer’s 1500m against Bøkko. Also make sure to check out a video in which Håvard Bøkko is interviewed by his sister Hege.


In the final distance of the women’s competition, the 5000m, Martina Sablikova raced to a gold medal and the overall victory when she completed the distance in 6:55.54. The silver medal in the 5000m was for Masako Hozumi (7:03.56), and Stephanie Beckert finished third (7:05.13).


Click here for a video of Sablikova’s victory lap after the final race in the 5000m.


After yesterday’s gold medal in the 5000m, Sven Kramer also claimed the gold medal in the 10k. Kramer was again paired with Håvard Bøkko, which resulted in an interesting fight. Bøkko made several attempts to skate away from Kramer, but Kramer managed to hold them all off and finished first in 13.05.21. Bøkko claimed the silver medal (13.11.01), and Enrico Fabris finished third in 13:20.65.


Click here for a video of Kramer’s 10k against Bøkko.


The overall podium of the men’s 10k competition was a replica of the 10k’s podium: Sven Kramer was crowned World Champion (147.567) for the third time in a row. Håvard Bøkko was second (148.077), and Enrico Fabris was third (149.469).


In the women’s competition the overall gold medal was for Martina Sablikova (161.616). Kristina Groves was second (162.264), and Ireen Wüst was third (163.639).


Click here for videos of both medal ceremonies.



Photo credits: DESGphoto/Lars Hagen.

Saturday, 7 February 2009


The first day of the World All-round Championships in Hamar started out with two Canadian victories in the 500m, for Christine Nesbitt and Denny Morrison, after which Martina Sablikova and Sven Kramer raced to gold medals in respectively the 3000m and 5000m.


Like last year at the World All-round Championships in Berlin, today’s 500m’s at the World All-rounds in Hamar were won by Christine Nesbitt and Denny Morrison. In the first distance of the day, the women’s 500m, Nesbitt raced to a time of 38.87. Alla Shabanova finished second in 39.53, and the bronze medal was for 2007’s overall gold-medalist and 2008’s overall silver-medalist Ireen Wüst (39.61).


Click here for highlights of the women’s 500m.



After two successful World Cup weekends in Kolomna and Erfurt, with gold medals in the 1000m and 1500m, Denny Morrison raced to a victory in the 500m in Hamar today after clocking a 35.55. The silver medal was for Håvard Bøkko (35.99), and Konrad Niedzwiedski finished third in 36.04. Noteworthy was Kwun-Won Choi’s fall after he had crossed the finish line. This fall damaged the ice in such a way that Sven Kramer and Wouter Olde Heuvel and all the skaters after this pair had to wait for 19 minutes before they were able to get their 500m’s started.


Click here for highlights of the men’s 500m.



In the women’s 3000m, Martina Sablikova raced to the fastest time of the day (4:01.90), and consequently climbed to the first place overall. Second in the 3000m was Renate Groenewold (4:05.61), and the bronze medal was for Paulien van Deutekom (4:05.88).


Click here for videos of the most important 3000m races.


Sven Kramer won the 5000m in a new track record time of 6:09.74, and is now leading in the overall classifications. Håvard Bøkko added another silver medal when he raced to 6:15.94, and Enrico Fabris finished third (6.20.31).



Click here for a video of Sven Kramer’s 5000m and an interview with Chad Hedrick and Trevor Marsicano.


In the women’s competition Martina Sablikova is now taking the lead in the overall classifications, Christine Nesbitt is second, and Claudia Pechstein, reigning European champion, is third. In the men’s competition Sven Kramer is taking the lead, Håvard Bøkko is second, and Enrico Fabris is third.


Click here for complete results and here for video highlights of the first day of the World All-round Championships in Hamar.



Photo credits: DESGphoto/Lars Hagen.

Sunday, 1 February 2009


On the third day of the World Cup Anni Friesinger won her second gold medal of the weekend, Shani Davis raced to the fastest time in the 1000m, and the Czech women and Canadian men claimed the gold medal in the Team Pursuit.


After her first place in the 1500m last Friday, Anni Friesinger added another gold medal in today’s 1000m. She needed 1:15.61 to complete the distance. Jing Yu came in second (1:16.41) and the bronze medal was for Peiyu Jin (1:16.42).


In the men’s 1000m Shani Davis raced to a new track record time of 1:08.40. Denny Morrison, gold-medalist in both 1000m’s in Kolomna last weekend, finished second in 1:08.78, and Jan Bos claimed the bronze medal (1:09.03).


In the women’s Team Pursuit the Czech team raced to the fastest time: 3:05.32, Russia finished second (3:05.80) and Poland finished third (3:06.26). Diane Valkenburg fell for the Dutch team, and as a result the Dutch did not finish, which did not only cost them a possible gold medal in today’s race, but also the overall World Cup victory, which now went to the Czech team.


In the men’s Team Pursuit there was another gold medal for the Canadian team, after their gold medal in Berlin (3:46.03). Thanks to these good results the Canadians also claimed the overall World Cup victory. The silver medal in today’s Team Pursuit was for Italy (3:46.56) and Norway finished third (3:48.39).


For complete results see here.



Photo credits: DESGphoto/Lars Hagen.