KNSB targets Dutch ‘skating bubble’ after deleting World Cups

The international ice skating union ISU has cancelled the first four world cups on the long track in the coming season because of the corona crisis. These are the matches in Poland (13-15 November), Norway (20-22 November), United States (4-6 December) and Canada (11-13 December).

The ISU is still investigating the possibility of holding competitions in the Netherlands between mid-November and mid-December in an alternative bubble concept’. In doing so, the board is striving for races in a safe environment, at a high level and with global participation.

Over the next two weeks, the feasibility of the intended project, which has been introduced to the ISU by the Dutch ice skating federation KNSB and House of Sports, will be investigated. Skating icon Sven Kramer is enthusiastic in advance.

“Too bad that the planned World Cups will not take place, but it is understandable and I am happy with this initiative”, says 34-year-old Fries. “It is good that the KNSB and House of Sports, together with involved partners, have picked up on this so quickly. It is in the interest of the entire skating sport that the World Cups can actually go ahead”

The first two World Cups in the short track have also been cancelled. These two events were scheduled for November in Canada. The World Cups in South Korea (11-13 December) and China (18-20 December) have not yet been taken off the calendar, pending further consultations between the parties involved.

The first major tournament on the long track in the Netherlands is the World Cup Qualifying Tournament from 30 October to 1 November at Thialf ice rink in Heerenveen. At the end of December the NK distances will be programmed in the Frisian skating temple.

The Netherlands has been awarded two international matches by the ISU for next season. After the turn of the year, the combined European Championship all-round and sprint will be on the agenda from 8 to 10 January in Heerenveen. The World Cup final will be held in Heerenveen on 6 and 7 March.