SPEED SKATING Preview: Bowe after third World Sprint title in Heerenveen

American sprint star Brittany Bowe (Photo: ISU)

The 50th edition of the ISU World Sprint Championships will be held on Saturday and Sunday in Heerenveen (NED), with 500 m and 1,000 m races held for both men and women each day.

Only 28 men and 28 women will be competing, with the winners to be determined by the combined time of their two races. The ISU qualification rankings coming into the event, based on points earned for their best times in each distance:

Men (combined points):
1. 68,415 Pavel Kulizhnikov (RUS) ~ 2015 & 2016 winner
2. 68.930 Havard Holmefjord Lorentzen (NOR) ~ Defending Champion
3. 68.995 Tatsuya Shinhama (JPN)
4. 69,140 Viktor Mushtakov (RUS)
5. 69,180 Kjeld Nuis (NED) ~ 2016 & 2018 silver, 2017 bronze

Women (combined points):
1. 74,320 Brittany Bowe (USA) ~ 2015 & 2016 winner; 2018 silver
2. 74,330 Nao Kodaira (JPN) ~ 2017 Champion
3. 74,510 Vanessa Herzog (AUT)
4. 74,970 Olga Fatkulina (RUS) ~ 2018 bronze
5. 75,185 Miho Takagi (JPN)

Bowe has been brilliant this season, coming all the way back from a 2016 concussion, and won the 1,000 at the recent World Single Distance Championships. But Herzog won the 500 m and was runner-up in the 1,000 m; Kodaira was second at 500 m and third at 1,000 m. Those three should be battling for the title.

Lorentzen was dominant last year and won silver in the 500 m at the Single Distance Championships. Kulizhnikov was terrific during the World Cup, but can be come through with top races at both distances?

Look for results here.