Friday, December 18, 2009

ISU World Cup Salt lake City

Written by T Dobbin
Salt Lake is one of the best cities in the World to speed skate. After hosting the 2002 Winter Olympic Games it has some of the best facilities in the World for training as well as an extremely good training group based in Salt Lake for a number of years.

Salt Lakes ice conditions were slightly better than in Calgary, especially for the distance races. The ice was fast and gliding alot, more than ice does at other rinks in the World. As SLC was the final qualification for Countries to Qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games it was the last chance for those Countries to confirm their Country positions. Some of the skaters that had already qualified their Country positions decided to head back to their home lands and train for their National Qualification to confirm which skaters will be skating at the Olympics in their Country position.

Shane Dobbin only participated in the 5 kilometer event on Saturday. He wanted to make sure that he could secure a Country position for New Zealand in the 5 kilometer event at the Olympics. Shane was set to skate in pair number four which was the first pair after the ice cleaning.

His tactics were different than any other race he has skated before setting out to hold back at the start and try to bring his lap times down by the end. See below his lap times:

200m 19.10 (19.1)
600m 49.23 (30.1)
1000m 1:19.37 (30.1)
1400m 1:49.64 (30.2)
1800m 2:19.27 (29.6)
2200m 2:49.19 (29.9)
2600m 3:18.97 (29.7)
3000m 3:48.39 (29.4)
3400m 4:17.81 (29.4)
3800m 4:47.43 (29.6)
4200m 5:17.23 (29.8)
4600m 5:47.14 (29.9)
5000m 6:17.78 (30.6)

Even though Shane set a new New Zealand National Record and a personal best time in this event he was still not 100% satisfied. Usually on faster ice it's better to get your lap times at the start and try to maintain them until the end because you glide much better, on better ice. However, it was still good enough for 11th place in the mens A grade division and hopefully ensures a Country spot for New Zealand in the 5 kilometer at the 2010 Winter Olympics. For full results go to

Shane is now back training in the Netherlands for the next two weeks. After Christmas he will head back to Salt Lake City to get some good training done there with a good training group. Shanes next competition is the Regional Qualifer which is going to be held in Calgary on the 23rd and 24th of January. The top seven skaters from this Regional Qualifer will be able to skate in the World All Round Championships in March in Heerenveen here in the Netherlands.

Keep posted for updates and a special thanks to Daniel Yeow for his great photos.

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