Review World Cup Heerenveen - News

Kris Schildermans deeply disappointed by disqualification
During the B-group 10 km, which was raced in quartet starts, the Belgian Kris Schildermans raced a perfect race.
“My lap times were very steady and the first 15 laps went very well. That well, that I was catching up on the Japanes skater Dejima, who had started in the pair before me. Even better, at one moment, I was really chasing him and I had to pass him to keep my fast lap times.” During this passing, in which the Japanese did not give much space, Schildermans had to reach out his hand to signal that he was right be! hind him and to avoid a crash. This all went well and both skaters could finish their race like nothing had happened. Schildermans raced 13.38,37, which was a great personal best for him (on a rink at sea level!) and got him the 7th place in the ranking.

Directly after the finish however, Schildermans heard that he was disqualified for touching the Japanese skater. For him, a totally incredible disqualification, also because the Japanese said that it did not bother him at all.

Despite all protest of coach Andreas Larsson and Belgian team leader Mathieu Vermeulen, the disqualification was not withdrawn. “Now I can forget about the ESSENT ISU World Cup Finals in Salt Lake City and a position on the reserve list of the ESSENT ISU World Championships Single Distances is gone as well. This is really bad. Besides, next season I can't start in A-division. Those are really big consequences for something I could not be blamed for and for something the rule! s are not clear about.

Now I have to hope that my qualificatio n for the 5 km is safe for the ESSENT ISU World Championships, “ said a very disappointed Schildermans.
Zlotkowska again strong in Heerenveen
Luiza Zlotkowska keeps on improving, especially in Heerenveen. This weekend, the happy Polish girl, was 12th on the 1500 meter in 2.01,30, only a fraction above her personal best.

During the ESSENT ISU European Allround Championships, in January, Luiza raced a really good 3000 meter, after which she was in first position for a while.

Zlotkowska, who lives close to Warsaw, was really happy in Erfurt as well, two weeks ago, as she won the silver medal with her team mates on the Team Pursuit.
Mass start back in World Cup program
At the end of the ESSENT ISU World Cup in Heerenveen, the International Skating Union (ISU) introduced the mass start again, a discipline which was raced in 2006 for the last time.

Many skaters of Sport Navigator.NL participated and they did really well. French Pascal Briand, the guy who races every discipline and winner of a previous mass start event, was really active and was leading the peloton many times.
Philip Brojaka, the British freshman on long track this season, completed the race really well and German Marco Weber was liking it really much and competing at his best. Many skaters were enthusiastic about the mass start, but it is not clear yet what the ISU will do with this, both for skaters as spectators, interesting discipline in the future.

We have received many positive sounds of the foreign skaters: they all think it is a great discipline and would like to keep it in the ESSENT ISU World Cup. But the ISU should not program it just after a 10 km and when there is an international marathon organised in Sweden at the same time, since now many top skaters did not participate because of this and that's a pity and a missed opportunity.

Koreans, Chinese and Russians not present
This weekend in Heerenveen, the Russians, Koreans and Chinese were participating. Before, some of them had not participated in Kolomna and Erfurt as well.

For the Koreans and Chinese, the reason was that they are preparing for the Universiade Games, a prestigious event in Asia. This Universiade starts coming weekend in China and is for Asian countries really important. The Russians had a different, more practical problem.

Since they need a visa to travel to America, all passports were at the American Embassy in Moscow. Therefore, it was not possible for them to travel to Heerenveen.! It is not clear yet when the passports will be ready, since they also need to go to the Canadian Embassy for the trip to Vancouver.

First, they should have been ready on February 19th, now it is clear that it would not be before coming Friday or Saturday. When that is not happening either, the team will not travel before March 2nd, because of the time difference problems.

For sure is, that the skaters can prepare in Kolomna really well now, so they can go to Salt Lake City in perfect shape.
Daniel Friberg wins B-group and a spot in World Cup Final
Daniel Friberg was uncertain for a long time if he could qualify for the 1500 meter ESSENT ISU World Cup Finals, being held in Salt Lake City in three weeks. The Swedish skater from the team of Andreas Larsson, thought he did not have enough points to qualify, but he knew that there was one more chance. Therefore he had to win the
B-group in Heerenveen, since that would give him direct qualification for the ESSENT ISU World Cup Finals in Salt Lake City (USA).

Friberg put his focus on that, raced a perfect race, which could not be beaten by any other. “I am really relieved that I m! anaged to do it in this way. It was the hardest way, but also the shortest. Now I know for sure that I can start there,” Friberg smiled.
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