Japan's Miho Takagi and Patrick Roest of the Netherlands are targeting a successful defence of their women's and men's titles respectively at the International Skating Union World Allround Speed Skating Championships in Calgary.
The two-day event at the Calgary Olympic Oval, due to begin tomorrow, sees skaters compete across both short and long distances.
Takagi, a three-time Olympic medallist, arrives in the Canadian city having claimed the silver at last weekend's World Sprint Speed Skating Championships Heerenveen in the Netherlands.
The Japanese star will aim to become the first female skater to claim medals at the sprint and allround events since Canada's Christine Nesbitt achieved the feat in 2011 and 2012.
Four-time Olympic champion Ireen Wüst of the Netherlands is set to be among Takagi's main challengers for the overall title, along with Wüst's team-mate and European allround champion Antoinette de Jong.
Further Dutch success could come in the men's event as Roest goes in search of a second consecutive world allround crown.
The race for the overall men's gold medal is likely to focus mainly on Dutch skaters as Sven Kramer will bid for a 10th title.
Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway, silver medallist last year, will also fancy his chances of securing top spot on the podium.
The Norwegian was on course for victory after three distances, only to crash in the final 10,000 metres, essentially handing the gold medal to Roest.
The women will race over 500m, 1,500m, 3,000m and 5,000m, while the men tackle 500m, 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m.