Season ended with beautiful medals in Stavanger - News13-03-2017
The season for the international speed skaters ended last weekend in the Norwegian city of Stavanger with the finals of the World Cup. Again, for our skaters it was a good weekend with multiple medals and high rankings in the final classifications.
Great silver Vincent de Haitre
Vincent de Haitre ad a wonderful season on the 1000 meters. In Stavanger the only 22-year old Canadian crowned his winter, in which he joined the world's best in speed skating. He was rewarded with a second place in the final classification of the World Cup, right behind the untouchable Kjeld Nuis.
The same Nuis - winner of every race over 1000 meters he started in - crossed the path of De Haitre in Norway. The Dutchman won 1.08,76, a time that was roughly about half a second faster then De Haitre, who finished in 1.09,28. But that time was good for silver, after the Canadian had won a World Cup race in Astana earlier in the season.
Nico Ihle bronze on 1000 meters
For Nico Ihle goes the same as for Vincent de Haitre, with the difference that the German already goes a long way with his 31 years of age. But Ihle performes this season better then ever and looks back on a great year,
That brought him a fine bronze medal in Stavanger, where Ihle ended up third on the 1000 meters. He only had Nuis and De Haitre in front of him, but his 1.09,42 meant a nice conclusion of the season. Ihle ended on fifth place in the final classification of the 1000 meters, and partly by a sixth place in Stavanger on the 500 meters (35,12) also on the seventh place in the classification of that distance.
Remarkable silver Ted Jan Bloemen
Ted Jan Bloemen already goes a long way in the top of international speed skating, but the 30-year old Canadian with the Dutch roots, had a remarkable achievement this season. In Stavanger he ended the combined classification over 5k and 10k as second, and that meant hir first place on the podium of the classification over all that years.
That markes the progress of Bloemen since he decided to step over to the Canadian team. Sice then TJ Flowers, as he is called there, really blooms.
In Norway he ended up being second in 6.18,46 on the last 5k of the season, right behind Jorrit Bergsma. The same order was held on the podium of the World Cup, where Bloemen held off New Zealand's Peter Michael.
Pedersen grabs bronze on 1500 meter
Sverre Lunde Pedersen finished his season with a great bronze medal on the 1500 meters. In front of his home crowd the 24-year old Norwegian fought an epic battle with Dutchman Patrick Roest. At stake was not only the victory for the day, but also the podium in the World Cup classification.
The win however was for Kjeld Nuis, who was - again - too fast for everyone withi his 1.45,00. Pedersen saw how Roest raced to 1.46,28 and knew he had to beat that time. That didn't work out. The Norwegian clocked 1.46,61 and saw how Roest passed him in the classification, in which Pedersen still ended up with a great third place.
Bronze mass-start Bart Swings
For the fifth year in a row Bart Swings was on the podium of the final classification World Cup on the mass-start. This time the 26-year old from Belgium ended up on third place.
That was the same place as Swings took in the finale mass-start of the season. He sprinted for the win with Jorrit Bergsma and Korean Seung-Hoon Lee. But Lee won, Bergsma finished second and for Swings remained the third place. The differences were neglectable: only twelve hunderds of a second between number one and three.
That result didn't bring Swings any higher in the rankings, with Bergsma on place two and Lee as the winner. Buth with the bronze Swings kept alive his remarkable stretch.
Norwegians win battle for place two
The Norwegian four in the teampursuit thrilled the home crowd in Stavanger. The enthusiastic Norwegians saw their riders fight an epic battle with the Dutch team. A fight that in the end was lost on little over three tenth of second.
Sindre Henriksen, Simen Spieler Nilsen, Sverre Lunde Pedersen and Havard Holmefjord Lorentzen finished in 3.43,35. That was just a wee bit slower than the Dutch (3.43,02), a difference that was hardly to be seen on the ice in the direct battle of the two superpowers of the ice.
In the final classification of the Wold Cup the Norwegians won a place and climbed to the second spot. Before the race they were exactly equal with the Japanse, but they were beaten on the final race.
Bronze Germany on team sprint
The German riders Nico Ihle, Denny Ihle and the only 22-year old Joel Dufter won bronze in Stavanger on the team sprint. The top three - Netherlands, Canada and Germany - were only separated by half a second.
Germany was 15 hunderds of a second behind the Canadians, who won second place. In the final classification of the World Cup Germany did finish in a great second place.