The Indian team, comprising girls from all over India, fought well but went down the series 2-0 against Japan, who are the top ranked team in the world.
The 2023-2024 season of the International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Speed Skating kicked off, with Dutch skater Jutta Leerdam winning the women’s 1,000-meter race in Obihiro, Japan.
Leerdam crossed the finish line in one minute 14.57 seconds, edging Japan’s Miho Takagi into second place by 0.11 seconds, reports Xinhua.
In the men’s 1,000m event, China’s Ning Zhongyan came second in one minute 8.54 seconds, 0.19 seconds behind Japan’s Masaya Yamada.
Tatsuya Shinhama led a Japanese podium sweep in the men’s 500 meters. Shinhama clocked 34.52 seconds to win by 0.17 from Wataru Morishige, with Yuma Murakami rounding out the podium 0.30 back.
Due to a lack of qualifying results from last season, Beijing 2022 winner Gao Tingyu did not participate in this event.
In the women’s mass start, Canada’s Ivanie Blondin secured a decisive win in 8 minutes 25.11 seconds, defeating Esther Kiel of the Netherlands and Mia Kilburg-Manganello of the United States in the final sprint, while Dutch skater Bart Hoolwerf won the men’s mass start.
The World Cup series comprises six events (four during an Olympic season), with A Division and B Division races. Skaters can earn points at each competition, and the skater with the most points on a given distance at the end of the series is the World Cup winner in that distance.