Great start of the Olympic season with 14 medals - News


The international top in speed skating met for the first time this Olympic season in Thialf Heerenveen, where the first World Cup turned out to an event with competition at the highest level. Our skaters grabbed a magnificent number of 14 medals during the weekend! Here are some highlights:

Lorentzen delivers gold for Norway
It has been a while since the last golf medal for a Norwegian sprinter at the 500 meters in a World Cup. To be exact: fifteen years. Havard Holmefjord Lorentzen personally ended that drought.

De 25-year old Norwegian raced to victory in the first 500 meters in Thialf. He did so in a blue suit, instead of the traditional red for the Norwegians. A scientist proved after investigation that a blue suit would be faster than a red one. Lorentzen absolutely believes so after this weekend. In the first 500 meters he raced to a time of 34,69, which was the fastest om them all. He followed the gold later on by a bronze medal. On the 1000 meters Lorentzen ended up third in 1.08,28 after Pavel Kulizhnikov and Kai Verbij. The second 500 meters brought him the eighth place in 35,03.

Dubreuil: gold after promotion
It was a pretty bizar weekend for Laurent Dubreuil. On the first day the 25-year old from Canada still raced the 500 meters in the B Divison.He ended up third in 35,11, which was enough for promotion. ,,Not the best of races, but I am happy to start again in the A Division", told Dubreuil.

Some 24 hours later Dubreuil was even more happy, after winning in the A Division in a time of 34,80. Only Smeekens stayed close with 34,84.

Silver Bloemen at 5000 meters
At the first occasion Ted-Jan Bloemen showed he is a man to keep an eye on for the next Olympics. De holder of the world record on the 10k gave Sven Kramer a hell of a fight at the 5k. Bloemen stauyed close for a very long time and at some points even passed before Kramer. But when Kramer stepped on the gas a few laps before the end, Bloemen could not follow. But his 6.14,95 was fast enough to take second place behind Kramer (6.12,88). ,,Of course I rather win, but I am very happy with this result", Bloemen said.

Great bronze for Pedersen
Sverre Lunde Pedersen also contributed to the great opening weekend for the Norwegian team. Pedersen thought for a long time he could even win the 5k, which would be a huge surprise. De 25-year old Norwegian put up a great time in already the second pairing. His 6.15,81 was not beaten for a very long time. Dutch aces erik Jan Kooiman and Jan Blokhuijsen were not faster and even Jorrit Bergsma could not beat the time from Pedersen. After that race the Norwegian was already sure of the bronze medal, which was exactly what he won. In the last pairing both Sven Kramer and Ted-Jan Bloemen were faster.

On the 1500 meters Pedersen could not be of any importance. In 1.47,01 he ended up in thirteenth place.

Ivanie Blondin impressive
At the beginning of the season Ivanie Blondin already made a great impression. The Canadian ace was good as usual at the mass-start, the event which probably gives her the best chances of an Olympic medal. The 27-year old Blondin just confirmed that with a second place in Thialf, right after Japanese Ayano Sato.

But the medal on the 3000 meters must have felt the best for Blondin. She raced towards a time of 4.04,16, which was good for gold after six pairings. One race later Blondin went to bronze, as both Antoinette de Jong and the Russian Natalia Voronina were faster. But Blondin is certain to play a role on that distance as well, which is not yet the case on the 1500 meters. There Blondin finished thirteenth in 1.58,29.

Vanessa Herzog close to bronze
Just one hundred of a second separated Vanessa Herzog from a bronze medal on the 500 meters. De 22-year old from Austria produced a fine race in 37,68. One race later she was beaten with 37,67 by Angelina Golikova, and in the end also Kodaira and Lee were faster. The fourth place remained for Herzog.

On the 1000 meters there was a seventh place for Herzog, who finished in 1.15,48.

It was already a miracle Vanessa Herzog could race in Thialf. Last April she was runover by a van during a training on her bike. One of the wheels from the truck rolled over her upper leg, but miraculously Herzog only suffered some broozes.

Gold Canada at teamsprint
The Canadian men were successful on the teamsprint. In the field of ten countries the Canadian three Laurent Dubreuil, Alexandre St-Jean and Vincent de Haitre won the gold. They were the only ones who broke the barrier of 1.20 with their time of 1.19,55w, which was halve a second faster than the Norwegians and about a second and a halve faster than the Russians.

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