Jutta Leerdam leads the women's event after the first day of competition ©Getty Images

Canada's Laurent Dubreuil and The Netherlands' Jutta Leerdam lead their respective competitions after the first day of the World Speed Skating Championships in Hamar.

Sprint events are the focus of the first two days of the International Skating Union (ISU) event in Norway, with all-around competition following at the weekend.

Leerdam seized the lead in the women's sprint standings after two strong performances at the Hamar Olympic Hall.

The Olympic 1000 metres silver medallist placed fifth in the 500m discipline in 38.11sec to begin the day.

Compatriot Femke Kok posted the fastest time in 37.78, with Austria's Vanessa Herzog second at 0.14 down.

Poland's Andzelika Wójcik and Kaja Ziomek tied for third at 0.15 behind Kok.

The 1000m event saw Leerdam record the fastest time by clocking 1min 14.88sec, with Kok trailing by 0.8 seconds.

Kimi Goetz of the United States placed third in 1:15.89.

The results saw Leerdam lead the standings on a score of 75.550, narrowly clear of Kok on 75.620.

Herzog heads into the second day in third place with a score of 76.140.

Dubreuil, who won silver in the 1000m at Beijing 2022, leads the men's event after two races.

He triumphed in the 500m race in a time of 34.58, with Japan's Tatsuya Shinhama and Poland's Piotr Michalski following on 34.71 and 34.79.

Dubreuil backed up the performance with a third place in the 1000m.

The Canadian skater was 0.69 behind Dutch Olympic champion Thomas Krol, who achieved a track record of 1:08.16.

Norway's Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen was second in the discipline in 1:08.82.

The results saw Dubreuil lead the standings at the end of the first day of competition on a score of 69.005.

Krol is second with a score of 69.180, with Dutch team-mate Kai Verbij third on 69.300.

Sprint competition will conclude tomorrow when the second 500m and 1000m races are contested.

The World Championships are taking place without Russian and Belarusian athletes, after the ISU implemented International Olympic Committee recommendations.

Prior to the recommendations on non-participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes at international events, the Norwegian Skating Federation had called for a ban on competitors from both countries following the invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian Skating Union announced on Saturday (February 26) that it had pulled out of the World Championships, citing "the closure of the airspace of Poland" and "the cancellation of flights by a number of other European countries".