Stavanger World Cup brings up 14 medals again - News


The circuit of the World Cup travelled to Stavanger in Noray for the second weekend of races. And the Norwegian fans really had something to cheer about. Our Norwegian skaters have been average for a while, but are back on top now. They grabbed many medals, counting up to the total of 14 for our skaters this weekend.

Double gold Havard Lorentzen
Havard Holmefjord Lorentzen made the crowd in the Sormarka Arena go wild. The 25-year old from Norway won a week ago the first Norwegian gold on the 500 meters in a World Cup since 15 years. A week later he repeated that in front of his home crowd.

On the first 500 meters Lorentzen was successful straightaway. He underlined why he is named the best sprinter in the first part of the season. With 34,64 he finished just in front of Hein Otterspeer, who needed 34,66 for the distance.

Barely two hours later Lorentzen added his second gold medal of the day. This time on the 1000 meters, where he yet again beat a Dutchman. Lorentzen raced towards 1.08,22, a time which Kaj Vebrij could not beat (1.08,47). In fact Lorentzen had three Dutch riders behind him, including Thomas Krol and world champion Kjeld Nuis. One Norwegian beating all the Dutch, that was a reason to celebrate in Stavanger.

On the second 500 meters Lorentzen finished in sixth place (34,79), but that didn't matter too much anymore.

'Old' Pechsten still can do it
Claudia Pechstein already won races when her current rivals like Irene Schouten and Ivanie Blondin weren't even born yet. She already participated in the 1992 Olympics, where she won the bronze medal on the 5000 meters as one of her nine Olympic medals. Perhaps she can add one more in PyeongChang. Pechstein will turn 46 during the Olympics, but showed in Stavanger that she still can do it.

On "her" 5000 meters she was faster than everyone else. Her time of 6.56,60 was enough to shake off all opponents. Irene Schouten didn't make it, Antoinette de Jong not even came close and even Martina Sablikova was ebout three seconds slower. It meant World Cup medal number 111 for Claudia Pechstein, an unreal number.

Great gold Sverre-Lunde Pedersen
The Norwegian fans really had something to cheer about. It were not just the gold medals of Lorentzen, but Sverre-Lunde Pedersen also contributed to the party. A week before he won the bronze on the 5000 meters in Heerenveen, but this time Pedersen had success on the 1500 meters, the highest valued distance in speed skating.

Pedersen already came to action in the fourth pairing, against fellow-countryman

Allan Dahl Johansson. The two Norwegians made it a great fight with Pedersen as the best man. He clocked 1.45,07, a time which nobody in the following races could beat. Joey Mantia came close, but the American finished in 1.45,28.

Pedersen also started on the 10k, a distance in which he could not win a second medal. His time of 13.02,42 meant a sixth place.

Bronze Artur Was on 500 meters
Poland's Arthur Was added another World Cup medal to his modest but growing collection. De 31-year old skater already competes on the highest level for some years, but still is able to surprise every now and then. That also happened in Stavanger, where he ended in third place on the first 500 meters.

Was came on to the ice in the sixth pairing, racing against Dutchman Dai Dai Ntab. The Polish rider did very well and finished in a great time of 34,74. In the remaining races he lost sight of the gold, but ended up with a rewarding bronze medal behind winner Lorentzen and number two Otterspeer.

On the second 500 meters Artur Was was just a little bit slower with 34,81, but immediately fell back to place nine.

Canadians take lots of silver
The Canadians speed skaters won a lot of silver medals in Stavanger, even though there was one gold in the end. That was won by the Canadian men on the teamsprint, where they raced towards the gold in a new world record: 1.19,52. On the same discipline the women won the bronze medal.

Marsha Hudey was responsible for the first silver medal. De 27-year old skater from White City is only 1.57 meters high, but full of power. She raced towards 37,87 and with that time she was the best of the rest behind Nao Kodaira, the Japanese winner in 37,08. On the second 500 meters Hudey finished fifth in 38,10.

On the longer distances there was double silver for the Canadian team. The first was won by Ivanie Blondin. The 27-year old Blondin had a fine race on the 5k against rival Irene Schouten. Both riders pushed each other all the way, but not even that could help Blondin beat the best time of Pechstein. Blondin was faster for a big part of the race, but fell back in the final laps. She ended up in second place, just halve a second behind Pechstein.

Ted-Jan Bloemen (31) took care of the third silver medal, the same color as he won a week earlier in Heerenveen during the 5000 meters. This time TJ Flowers, as the Canadians name the naturalized Dutchman, did it on the 10k. In a direct fight with Sven Kramer he pushed the best skater of all times to the limit. However, when Kramer accelerated in the final laps, Bloemen could not follow. He finished in 12.52,64, little over one and a halve second slower then Kramer (12.50,97).

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