This morning I flew to Salt Lake City in Utah to attend the world cup speed skating tournament that’s taking place here in the Olympic Oval. A 6am flight from Rochester via Chicago brought me here just after the 500m sprint races. That was a pity because Jenny Wolf skated a world record but the schedule didn’t allow otherwise.
The first 3000m women’s race featured Claudia Pechstein. Via a last minute court ruling she managed to gain access to the race while the review of her doping case is pending before a Swiss court. She was here to try and win German qualification for the Olympics later February. For that she needed to ride within 4:03:00 and finishes in the first eight. It didn’t happen.
Ireen Wust rode a good race and had the leading time for a while eventually finishing 4th. Moniek improved her personal record and she was clearly delighted after her race. The dual between Stephanie Beckert of Germany and Martina Sablikova of the Czech republic continued with Martina also winning this race.
Sven Kramer won a wildcard to start in the A group in the 1500m men’s race. He needed to finish in the first eight riders in order to gain an Olympic qualification. He did improve his personal best but in the end there were too many fast men today. Erben Wennemars rode a great race, fast, aggressive and collapsed on the side of the track after his finish so I’d say in good Erben style he gave it all. It was a good time but was apparently disqualified. The speaker in the hall never mentioned any of this. Just suddenly Erben’s name was gone from the leader board.
The race between Skobrev and Makowsky was very close and also Chad Hedrick’s race against Danny Morrison was exciting. But the crown went again to Shani Davis riding a world record and finishing a second ahead of everybody else.
The pictures are in the gallery.
- Women and men’s 500m
- Women’s 1500m, and
- Men’s 5000m