Preview World Allround Championships - News

06-02-2009
World Allround Championships in Norwegian style
From tomorrow afternoon, the World Allround Championships will be held in the Norwegian city of Hamar. The best male and female allround skaters will compete with each other to grab the title. The last time this tournament was held in this ice hall was in 2004. Back then, the American men Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis won the gold and silver. With the ladies, it was Renate Groenewold who won the title, followed by German Claudia Pechstein. 
Both ladies will compete again this weekend and try to grab a podium spot again. There is no big favourite for the ladies, but other candidates are defending World Champion Paulien van Deutekom, Ireen Wüst, Martina Sábliková and Kristina Groves. Unfortunately, German Daniela Anschütz-Thoms had to withdraw because of illness. 
For the men, the big favourite is the winner of the last two editions of this tournament, Sven Kramer. Norwegian Havard Bokko will be loudly supported by the fans to try and attack on Kramer. Other skaters who will be competing for the podium spots are Wouter Olde Heuvel, Enrico Fabris, Trevor Marsicano and Robert Lehmann.
In Hamar, which is covered in snow, many skaters are having a cold or are a bit ill. Not only the already mentioned Anschütz, but as well the Swedish male skaters Joel Eriksson and Johan Röjler will not be starting completely fit tomorrow. 
The schedule for this weekend is as follows. On Saturday, both ladies and men will start with a 500 meter, followed by the 3000 meter for ladies and 5000 meter for men. On Sunday, the day starts with a 1500 meter for both ladies and men, after which the tournament will be conluded with the 5000 meter for ladies and 10000 meter for men.
Viking Skipet - Olympic history
The ice hall in Hamar, which has a shape of a Viking ship, was build for the Olympic Winter Games of 1994. The big winner of this tournament was Norwegian Johan Olav Koss, who won several gold medals. This was one of the reasons that the speed skating country The Netherlands did not win any gold medal during this tournament.
After the Olympic Games, several big tournaments have been held in Hamar and every season a tournament or a World Cup is being held here. The last big tournament which was races here was the World Sprint Championships of 2007, won by the Korean Kyu-Hyuk Lee and German Anni Friesinger.
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