ISU Long Track Speedskating World Cup – Salt Lake City – Recap

ISU Long Track Speedskating World Cup – Salt Lake City – Recap

Every now and then, a spectator gets lucky enough to witness speedskaters giving their all and finishing a race with a personal best, a national record, or even a world record. Coaches watch those same performances from the ice, feeling the satisfaction of knowing that all those long hours spent teaching their athletes technique and skill is finally paying off. But for the speed skaters themselves, who actually get to live those moments, there is nothing better than crossing the finish line knowing that their time for living their dreams is now. For athletes, coaches, and spectators alike, the second ISU Long Track Speed Skating World Cup of the season, held at the Utah Olympic Oval, was both memorable and gratifying. During three days of competition, four world records were broken, 38 national records were set, and 166 personal bests were achieved. Here is a look back at how the Long Track World Cup unfolded.

Day 1

The first day of competition saw the first of four world records set. In Calgary just a week earlier, Russian skater Pavel Kulizhnikov set a world record by skating the 500m in 34.00 seconds, beating the previous record of 34.03 seconds set in 2007. In Salt Lake City, Kulizhnikov beat his own world record by skating the 500m in 33.98 seconds, becoming the first man ever to skate the 500m in under 34 seconds.

It was also on the first day of competition that US speedskater Mitch Whitmore won his first individual World Cup medal. Whitmore skated the 500m in 34.19 seconds, beating his own American Record and earning the silver medal. (The bronze medal was won by Canadian skater William Dutton, who finished with a time of 34.35 seconds.) In the women’s 500m, Brittany Bowe and Heather Richardson-Bergsma won silver and bronze medals, finishing with the times of 37.03 and 37.13 respectively. China’s Hong Zhang won gold with a time of 36.56. Sugar Todd also finished with a personal best time of 37.63 seconds, earning her an 8th place finish.

Team USA also had a two-three showing in the men’s 1500m, with Joey Mantia and Shani Davis winning silver and bronze. Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands took first place with a time of 1:42:14.

Day 2

The second day of competition saw two more world records set. Canadian speed skater Ted-Jan Bloemen set a world record in the 10000m, finishing with a time of 12:36.30. Bloemen beat the previous world record by over five seconds. The second world record was set in the women’s 1500m by Heather Richardson-Bergsma, finishing with a time of 1:50.85 and beating Brittany Bowe’s world record set the previous week in Calgary. (Bowe finished 2nd with a time of 1:51.31.) Brittany also added a bronze medal to her collection with her third place finish in her second 500m of the competition.

Also on day two, Joey Mantia skated a personal best in the 1000m, while Shani Davis skated a season-best of 1:07.37, earning him a 4th place finish. And in the men’s 1000m B Division, Jonathan Garcia won third place with a time of 1:08.61, while Kimani Griffin earned a personal best with a time of 1:08.98.

Day 3

On the third and final day of competition, the fourth world record was set by Brittany Bowe in the 1000m. She finished with a time of 1:12.18, beating the world record set by Richardson-Bergsma in Calgary. (China’s Hong Zhang took silver, while Heather Richardson-Bergsma took bronze.) Bowe’s gold medal performance in the 1000m capped off seven podium finishes in two World Cups, including 2 gold, 3 silver, and 3 bronze. Also on day 3, Paige Schwartzburg finished third in the women’s B Division mass start race, while Joey Mantia took first in the men’s B Division mass start, earning him a spot in the A Division for the next World Cup.

Overall, the Team USA set multiple speedskating world records in back to back World Cups, not to mention national records and multiple personal bests. Only time will tell how long these current World Records will stand, with upcoming World Cups in Germany on December 4-6, and in Heerenveen on December 11-13.

Sources

USSpeedskating.org. http://www.teamusa.org/US-Speedskating. Accessed 11/23/15

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