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Congratulations to Anni Friesinger and Shani Davis!
2005 All Around Ice Speed World Champions

Anni Friesinger of Germany and Shani Davis of the United States are the 2005 All Around Ice Speed Skating World Championships February 5-6, 2005 in Moscow, Russia.

World Allround Speed Skating Championships
Moscow, Russia

The 2005 World Allround Speed Skating Championships took place in Russia February 5-6, 2005 in a new ice rink in the city of Moscow. Back in Russia for the first time in 43 years. Anni Friesinger (Germany) was the clear winner with the ladies, while the strongest man was Shani Davis (United States), who combines long track and short track, sprint and allround, and was in serious doubt if he was able to perform at all after his recent participation in the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships.

Women's Competition

1 - Anni Friesinger
2 - Cindy Classen
3 - Claudia Pechstein

Anni Friesinger is among the most decorated speed skaters of today, and her CV already included three allround world titles. This time she won more convincingly than ever, in fact winning all four distances, a feat not seen since
Anni Friesinger
Anni Friesinger (© Fry)
Gunda Niemann (Germany) did it in 1995. In previous years she has dominating the shorter distances, but here she also managed to beat her rival, three times Olympic champion on the 5k, Claudia Pechstein (Germany), on the latter’s favorite distance. Cindy Klassen (Canada), the 2003 world champion, won the silver, just ahead of Pechstein. Also Daniela Anschütz (Germany) and Ireen Wüst (Netherlands) were in close contention for the overall medals. Wüst’s 3000 m 4:08.15 was a new junior world record and her silver medal on the 1500 also notable, with 1:58.17 being just 0.07 seconds slower than her own junior world record.

A notable absence was Jennifer Rodriguez (USA), who won the 500 m in the three last World Allround Championships. This year she has focused on the shorter distances, which paid off handsomely in the form of the world sprint title two weeks ago in Salt Lake City. Here in Moscow Klassen and Wieteke Kramer (NED) followed Friesinger on the 500 m podium, with almost a full second separating the silver and the bronze. The 3000 m was a much closer race with seven skaters within about three seconds, Pechstein and Anschütz joining Friesinger for an all-German podium.

As expected, Friesinger’s clearest victory came in the 1500, her favourite distance, ahead of Wüst, Klassen and Anschütz. Earlier on, the home crowd liked Olga Tarasova’s (RUS) good race in 1:59.69. The situation before the 5k had Friesinger in clear winning position but with all of Klassen, Anschütz, Wüst and Pechstein having reasonable chances for the overall silver and gold. Clara Hughes (CAN) set the tone with a strong 7:05.69, securing her bronze on the distance. As Klassen said she was sick, her 5k form could be doubted, but she threw doubt aside and secured the overall silver. Friesinger is not always fond of the 5000 m, but she said: "Today I loved it!", while finding herself able even to accelerate at the end of the race.

Men's Competition

1 - Shani Davis
2 - Chad Hedrick
3 - Sven Kramer

Last year in Hamar (NOR), Americans Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis shocked the Dutch by winning a double for the USA, for the first time ever. This season has provided ample demonstration of the spectacular talents of these two unusual
Shani Davis
Shani Davis (© VanVelzen)
speed skaters - Hedrick coming from inline rollerskating and Davis from short track. Davis recently set world records in the 1500 m and in the overall point combination. However, if it hadn’t been for a disqualification on the 10,000 m, Hedrick would have taken the points record. Davis also had impressive performances at this year’s World Sprint Championships two weeks ago, with second place finishes in the 1000 meters.

This year, therefore, the two Americans came to the championship as clear favorites, ahead of the Dutch, with Shani the better skater on the short distances and Chad the better on the long distances.

And the Americans did not disappoint. It was perhaps clear from the first distance that Hedrick and Davis would be the contenders for the title, with the Dutch at respectable distance. Takahiro Ushiyama (Japan) won the 500 m in a personal best time of 36.28, trailed by Americans Davis, Hedrick and Parra, before home favorite Yevgeny Lalenkov (Russia). Norwegian hopes for Eskil Ervik (Norway), who performed so well at the European Championships, ended with Ervik’s fall on the 500. The 5000 m was won convincingly by Øystein Grødum (Norway) in 6:22.31, one of this season’s best long distance skaters. Being too slow on the 500, Grødum could not really challenge the Americans and the Dutch in the point combination, however. The most spectacular pair to watch was Hedrick against Verheijen (Netherlands). These two have also fought valiantly in the past. Verheijen seemed at one point to be in control, but Hedrick was able to put in 29.7, 29.7, 30.1 as his final three laps, giving him the silver on the distance, ahead of Bob de Jong (Netherlands), Verheijen, Davis, and then the strong junior Sven Kramer (Netherlands) and world record holder on the distance Jochem Uytdehaage (Netherlands). After the first day Hedrick seemed the strongest, just 0.13 points after Davis. The four Dutch were placed 3, 4, 5, 7 after two distances, with veteran KC Boutiette (United States) in 6th and Ivan Skobrev (Russia) on 8th.

Sunday’s 1500 m was American dominated, with a quadruple victory never seen before: Shani Davis, Chad Hedrick, KC Boutiette and Derek Parra, ahead of Uytdehaage, Kramer and Lalenkov. Hedrick then was confident, with 6.84 seconds to haul in on Davis on the final 10,000. These two were a full lap ahead of the skaters that would now have to settle for a fight for the bronze, led by Kramer, Uytdehaage, Boutiette and Verheijen.

The 10,000 started out with a spectacularly strong race of Grødum, making De Jong look slow, for a change. Grødum had been very content both with his form and with the new Krylatskoe rink, and actually had Uytdehaage’s 12:58.92 world record in his mind, but decided after some laps that he would settle for something slightly less ambitious. His finishing national record time of 13:06.79, in the end more than ten seconds ahead of the 2nd best Verheijen, might be judged the best single distance performance of all races this weekend. The world champion title was however fought for in the final two pairs. First came Hedrick against Verheijen, once again, with the latter pulling away after some strong laps around 6,000 m - perhaps Hedrick’s 13:22.35 would not suffice to keep Davis at bay. Davis knew in the final pair that 13:29 would secure him the World Allround title. Kramer was a good pair-mate for him, skating his own race for the overall bronze, successfully, as it turned out, pushing last year’s bronze winner Verheijen and European champion Uytdehaage to the 4th and 5th place. Davis never wavered from the required pace, fought valiantly and finished in 13:25.51. "I thought, I can rest tomorrow", he said, "But I never thought this was within my possibilities". Also notable on the 10k was veteran Bart Veldkamp (BEL), whose 13:30 race gave him the second 8th rank result of the weekend - he appears to be heading towards this fifth Olympics.

Complete Results

View Official Results at Horses.nl

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