2013 Speed Skating Worlds: Medal results and records
Analyzing the Top-10 of the medalled countries at the 2013 Speed Skating Worlds
1st: Colombia dominating... and improving
With 52 medals won in 2013 out of the 144 available, Colombia has increased its collection by 11 medals compared to 2012, seizing 36% of the medals in play! By the way, Colombia has also broken 4 world records out of 9 set records.
On track, the Colombian skaters get 16 out of the 21 gold medals available!
But what should be remembered of the Oostende Worlds (Belgium) is the brazen success in the Junior Categories. Now, the Colombians are present on nearly all fronts. They get 8 gold medals more than in 2012, breaking their own absolute record which was of 29 gold medals until now!
Question: Has the European level dropped or the South-American level improved? According to us the answer would be somewhere in-between. The debate is open...
2nd: Italy – Slightly less good
Still at the second place of the ranking, Italy sees its overall number of medals slightly reduced with 21 medals instead of 26 in 2012. Let's remind that the Worlds were taking place... in Italy! The Juniors had won a lot of medals at home in 2012, supported by their public. They were less determined this year, for example talented Linda Rossi had to wait for the 500m to beat the Colombians.
3rd: Belgium getting better... largely due to Bart Swings
It is a known fact, the hosting country always does better performances. The principle was confirmed in Oostende where Belgium gets 4 medals more than last year in Italy. Yet, the Belgians owe their 4 titles to SuperBart on fire who joined the ranks for the Worlds. Belgium goes from the 4th place of the 2012 medal ranking to the 3rd place in 2013.
4th: Taipei on its way to the top
Here is a nation that should be closely looked after! The Taiwanese collected 3 medals more than in 2012, including 2 golds (Senior women's relay and 10 km P/E). Taipei seems able to create a stir on track. Let's not forget the new 500 m world record set by Weilin Lo and that of the elimination race by Yang Hochen!
The rising generation shows a strong potential in the Junior Women's with Chen Yenpo and Yihsuan Liu....
5th: France does a nice catching up at the ranking... with the same number of medals
After disappointing World Games, it seems that the French peak of form arrived for the Worlds in Oostende. They win as many medals as in 2012 but go from the 9th to the 5th place at the general ranking. The Colombian roundup must have caused more damage to the other nations. Just like in 2012, the French only brought back one world title, that of the elimination race on road with Alexis Contin.
On the whole, and for several years, the French have been stagnating around the 5th place of the ranking.
6th: The Netherlands
The Netherlands loses 4 medals and falls one place at the general ranking. The Kamminga Brothers especially, Mulder and Manon, were less convincing. The Netherlands is saved by the great feat of Ariens Crisjpin at the marathon. A better-stocked prize list was expected though, after the remarkable performances of the Dutch at the European Championships.
7th: The best climb up goes to Venezuela!
Venezuela enters the Top-10 of the medalled countries with great pomp! Here is one more South American nation that will have to be taken into account in the coming years. From 0 medals to 7 including one gold, it gets the 7th place at the general ranking. Let's keep a close eye on Cindy Cortes and Luis Delgado! Maybe that the brief visit of Yann Guyader as a coach helped them find their way?
8th: New Zealand
New Zealand wins as many medals as in 2012. Peter Michael, the star of the team, had to face a hard competition. Still he seized the title at the 15 km elimination race and the world record of the competition.
Let's note that legendary Kalon Dobbin is still very well ranked in races, he knows how to help the other skaters take advantage of his experience. Nicole Begg is back in the saddle leading the packs after hard years of injuries.
9th: China relying on Guo Dan
China goes from the 13th place at the 2012 medal ranking to the 9th place in 2013, entering the Top-10 too. The essential of the performance rests on Guo Dan's shoulders both in 2012 and in 2013. This year, Guo Dan “only” won silver medals without managing to reach the gold facing formidable Italian Francesca Lollobrigida.
10th: Germany can do better
Germany steps backwards in 2013. The Germans are 10th at the general ranking while they were 6th in 2012. They didn't win any gold this year. However let's note the improvement of the German skaters with Félix Rijhnen who does a good 2013 season, Simon Albrecht with a very high potential and promissing Laetishia Schimek.
Counter-performance for South Korea (11th)
South Korea is probably the country that suffered the most this year in falling down to the 11th place of the medal ranking whereas they were 3rd last year! The Koreans didn't get any gold medal this year whereas they had been shining on track in 2012 with 5 world titles. From 17 medals in 2012, the Land of the Morning Calm falls to 6. Yet the next generation seems promissing. Korea is probably in a transition period... We are far from 2011 when Korea rivaled Colombia.
The other nations
Chile loses ground, winning less medals than in 2012 and in 2011, especially bronze medals. However, the Chileans are still able to leave their marks on races. And they still seem to be in full progress. In road sprint, Seniors Maria Jose Moya and Emanuelle Silva fought and got the bronze behind the stars of the discipline.
The USA are 12th, winning as many medals as in 2012 but improving by 4 places at the general ranking.
From a general point of view, there were 14 medalled nations in 2013 against 16 in 2012. Should we deduce that the level gap tends to grow despite an increasing number of participating nations in 2013? 51 countries were represented in Oostende against less than 40 in San-Benedetto-Del-Tronto in 2012.
Let's note a geographical shift of performances. Except for Colombia which has always called the tune in speed skating, the European part has first been encroached by Asia then now by Latin America, which will probably be the #1 continent in speed skating in the future.
According to the information we have, the 2014 Worlds may take place in Colombia... The South-American performances are not about to drop!
By the way, huge congratulations to the organization of the Oostende Worlds and to its 230 volunteers who managed to set up a quality event.
Here is the list of the records set on the Oostende track and officially validated by the FIRS. Four out of the nine records set during the 2013 Worlds are Colombian.
|300m||piste||senior ladies||25,993||Yersy Puello||COL|
|300m||piste||senior men||23,896||Andres Felipe Munoz||COL|
|500m||piste||senior ladies||43,886||Paola Andrea Segura||COL|
|500m||piste||senior men||40,114||Weilin Lo||TPE|
|1000m||piste||senior men||1:21,596||Bart Swings||BEL|
|10km point/elimination race||piste||seniors ladies||15:26,970||Yang Hochen||TPE|
|10km point/elimination race||piste||senior men||14:23,546||Fabio Francolini||ITA|
|15km elimination||piste||senior men||22:02,458||Peter Michael||NZL|
|200m||route||senior ladies||17,677||Yersy Puello||COL|
Translation: Chloé Seyres
Photos: Oostende2013 & mediaskates.com