As the 2019/2020 speed skating season comes to a close we look back on some of the latest successes achieved by skaters from Gewest Fryslân.
The National Championships Short Sprints 100 metre, 300 metre and 500 metres were held at the Jaap Eden ijsbaan in Amsterdam on February 22nd – which is an outdoor track, open to the elements. Aron Romeijn gave a stunning performance establishing new track records in all events – and becoming the first skater to break the 37 second barrier in the 500 metre event with a time of 36.9 seconds.
In the women’s competition the whole podium was coloured blue with Frysian speedskaters. Dione Voskamp took gold, skating three track records. Silver went to Helga Drost and bronze was clinched Isabelle van Elst – a really great tournament for the Frysian Team.
Tomaszow Mazowiecki – central Poland
The Junior World Championships were held between 21 – 23 February.
Winning the all-rounders World Champion Juniors for a second impressive year in a row Femke Kok gained World titles in both the 500m and the 1000m as well. Marrit Fledderus gained third place in the 1000 meter in Poland – but had the misfortune to fall during the 500 metre event during which she had been expecting a place on the podium. Nothing daunted she rallied during the 1000 meter and gained a well deserved medal …a result made all the more impressive by the fact she had been competing in the USA the weekend before.
Salt Lake City – USA
At that Salt Lake City venue Femke Kok together with teammates Letitia de Jong and Jutta Leerdam won the World Champion title in the team sprint event.
Melissa Wijfje gained 5th place in the 1500 metres – she made a slow start, followed by an incredible second lap, but couldn’t keep at full power for long enough to get to the front. She continues to make impressive progress, however, and was rewarded with a silver medal in the team pursuit event together with Antoinette de Jong and Ireen Wust – setting a new Dutch record.
Myrthe de Boer won the 1500 meter at the Youth (14 – 18yrs) Olympic Games which took place at the outdoor rink in Lausanne.
Melissa Wijfje and Sanneke de Neeling both qualified to take part in the World cup. Melissa got 3rd place in the 1500 metre event – her first podium appearance in the 1500 at international level.
A major triumph came with teammate Irene Schouten in the mass start event where the pair fought a strong and tactical race resulting in a world cup win.
Another achievement for her to look back on during the long hot summer will be her World Cup medal win in Japan where she slipped past the title holder Nao Kodaira to win the 500m event by 0.18 second.
World Cup Japan – Sanneke de Neeling
Sanneke won her first World Cup medal in Japan this season. After competing in many World Cup competitions she managed to get 3rd in Obihiro …keeping the World Champion 500 metre skater behind her by 0.18 second. A really strong performance.
The ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2020 planned for March 13-15 in Seoul cannot be staged owing to travel restrictions.
Victron are proud to sponsor Gewest Fryslân and admire the energy and enthusiasm they invest in their performances.
We thought we’d leave you with a video clip which captures the power and control of these races. We could have chosen any – but what better than the Ladies 500m? We join the video as Femke Kok is in competition with Norway’s Ida Njātun.
Images are by: ©foto’s Martin de Jong