Japan's world sprint speed skating champion Nao Kodaira is targeting the 500m world record in Salt Lake City this weekend ©ISU

Records will be on the cards when the International Skating Union's Speed Skating World Cup Final starts tomorrow, given that the 2018-2019 season finale takes place on the fastest ice of the world - the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City.

All five men's single distance speed skating world records and three of the five ladies' single distance world records have been skated at the 2002 Olympic rink.

The Final, which concludes on Sunday (March 10), will see the 12 best skaters per distance competing for double points to decide who takes home the World Cup in each distance.

It features the long distances, 3,000 metres for ladies and 5,000m for men, and for both genders the first 500m races and the 1,000m tomorrow.

Sunday's schedule consists of the 1,500m, the second 500m and the mass start for both genders.

Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway leads the 5,000m rankings, but only by one point from Aleksandr Rumyantsev of Russia.

The Norwegian 5,000m world champion finished second behind Patrick Roest of The Netherlands at the ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships in Calgary last week.

Martina Sáblíková of the Czech Republic leads the ladies' long distance standings.

Sáblíková earned her fifth ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships title in Calgary, skating a 3,000m and a 5,000m world record.

"I don't know whether I'll be able to skate even faster in Salt Lake City," she said.

"Somehow I always feel very much at ease in Calgary."

Sáblíková has an 11-point advantage over Natalya Voronina of Russia, with Isabelle Weidermann of Canada and Olympic 5,000m champion Esmee Visser of The Netherlands third and fourth in the standings.

In the sprint distances all eyes will be on Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia in the men's competition and Japan's Nao Kodaira in the women's events.

World record holder Pavel Kulizhnikov will be favourite to win an overall World Cup title over 500m this weekend in Salt Lake City ©ISU
World record holder Pavel Kulizhnikov will be favourite to win an overall World Cup title over 500m this weekend in Salt Lake City ©ISU

Kulizhnikov, who won the ISU World Sprint Speed Skating Championships title two weeks ago in Heerenveen, is the only man who has managed to skate the 500m under 34 seconds, bringing the world record down to 33.98 in Salt Lake City in 2015.

He leads this year's World Cup standings with Tatsuya Shinhama of Japan and Havard Lorentzen of Norway second and third.

World sprint speed skating champion Kodaira has already skated the 1,000m world record on this ice at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating 2017.

This time around she will be aiming at Sang-Hwa Lee of South Korea's world record time of 36.36 in the 500m.

Having felt the ice in the run-up to the World Cup final, Kodaira looked relaxed.

"Yes, I want to finally break that 500m world record," she said.

Vanesse Herzog of Austria leads the 500m ISU World Cup Speed Skating ranking, because Kodaira skipped three World Cup races.

Herzog was the only one who beat Kodaira in the 500m this season, taking the title in the shortest distance at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Inzell in February.

Kulizhnikov and Kodaira are also in contention for the 1,000m ISU World Cup, but they face fierce competition from skaters who rely more on stamina than on raw speed.

Heading into the final weekend Olympic champion Kjeld Nuis of The Netherlands leads the men's classification, five points ahead of Kulizhnikov.

In the ladies' 1000m Brittany Bowe of the United States moved to the top of the rankings with an immaculate performance at the fifth ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Hamar, which she followed up with an exhilarating 1,000m win at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Inzell.

Herzog is 60 points behind in second, while Kodaira and compatriot Miho Takaqi are joint third at 75 points from the leader.

The 1,500m is the ultimate battle between endurance specialists and sprinters.

World record holder Denis Yuskov combines the two better than anyone else and the Russian is in pole position to win the World Cup with a 20-point lead over Japan's Seitaro Ichinohe and a 24-point lead over third ranked Min-Seok Kim of South Korea.

In the ladies' 1500m it's again Bowe in top position.

Skating on her home rink the American thus has a chance to secure two overall ISU World Cup Speed Skating wins.

Ireen Wurst of The Netherlands lies second at 53 points and Miho Takagi third at 59 points.

The World Cup Speed Skating Final concludes with the mass start events on Sunday afternoon.

In the men's race Cheonho Um of South Korea defends a 45-point lead over Bart Swings of Belgium, with Ruslan Zakharov of Russia third on 109 points.

Francesca Lollobigida of Italy hopes to take home the ladies' mass start World Cup.

She is 12 points ahead of Bo-Reum Kim of South Korea and 34 ahead of Olympic champion Nana Takaqi of Japan.