Specatular outdoor World Allround Championships in Amsterdam - News


World Championships Allround Amsterdam
De best allrounders in the world came to Amsterdam last weekend for the World Championship on the most special location they have skated for many years: the old Olympic Stadium, dating back to 1928 when the Olympics were held in Amsterdam. For this event the stadium was turned into a great icerink.

The drama of Sverre Lunde Pedersen
Whaever is said or written in the future about this World Championship, it will always be about the drama of Sverre Lunde Pedersen. De 25-year old Norwegian was solid in his way to the worldtitle for a very long time. On the ten kilometers, the final distance, Pedersen was well ahead, and nothing seemed to can go wrong anymore. Untill Pedersens skates touched each other in the bend, and he went flat down in the pillows. ,,I knew I lost the world titel at that moment. And what happened, I don't know. I hardly ever fall. There's not much more I can say about it", the devastated Pedersen said.

He got up on thie ice, continued his race and even managed to get back to Sven Kramer and pass the reigning world champion again. But is wasn't enough. With each round the gold slipped away from Pedersen, heading towards Patrick Roest, who watched in disbelieve. With his time of 14.00,60 Pedersen secured the silver medal, but that was barely a comfort to the Norwegian.

And Sverre Lunde Pedersen was really the strongest man in Amsterdam. This very special World Championship didn't belong to Sven Kramer, as expected. No, it was the Norwegian who dominated. His fifth time on the 500 meters (37,42) gave him an excellent start to build on. And so Pedersen did.

His 5k was impressive. Sven Kramer seemed to win the distance, but in the last pairing Pedersen decided differently. With 6.33,81 he caused a shock to the home crowd of over 20.000 fans, who created a unique atmosphere.

Also on day two of the men's tournament it was Pedersen who dominated. The 1500 meters again meant victory for the Norwegian. With his time of 1.48,33 he was about one second and a halve faster than rival Patrick Roest, creating a comfortable margin on the final 10k. He could lose over seven seconds to Roest, but in fact Pedersen was much faster. On the stands the Norwegian fans were already celebrating the first Norwegian world title in many years. Until Pedersen's fall turned everything upside down.

Nils van der Poel wins the 10k
The fans in the Olympic Stadium looked at each other in surprise. Nils van der Poel? Was there a Dutch skater they knew nothing about? Not quite. But after his performance in Amsterdam almost everybody knew the story of the young Swede with the Dutch ancestors.

Because that is who Nils van der Poel is. Only 21 years of age, born in the Swedish town of Trollhattan, and with grandparents from Holland. He started playing bandy, but switched to speed skating later on. Not without success.

In Amsterdam it showed his 500 meters is not his strongest distance (38,35) and neither is his 1500 meters with a time of 1.53,15. But on the 5k Van der Poel showed already to have the skills it takes for the longer distances. He ended up fifth in 6.37,14. The finale 10k became the young Swede's party. Van dar Poel raced towards a time of 13.40,38 and that turned out to be a time nobody could beat. It brought Van der Poel his first great victory at the highest international level, and meant a sixth place in the final qualifications.

Fifth place for Bart Swings
Bart Swings ended the World Championships Allround with a fifth place. The great Belgian skater had a not so good first day, perhaps had to get used to skating outside, though Swings every now and then participates in the Dutch marathons, who are also partly in the open air.

Wit the 500 meters in 37,96 (fourteenth) and the 5k in 6.39,58 (seventh) the chances of ending up on the podium were significantly reduced. On the second day Swings was stronger. On the 1500 meters he ended up in fourth place with his time of 1.50,33. Also on the 10k with a time of 13.51,45 he ended up just besides the podium: fourth again. 

Silver Konrad Niedzwiedzki on 500 meters
Konrad Niedzwiedzki is not really an allrounder, but the Polish skater is always present at this tournament. He is the man taking his chances on the 500 meters title, and so he did again in Amsterdam. But this time the 33-yar old skater had to settle for second place. Niedzwiedzki saw how just before his race Patrick Roest raced towards a time of 36,97.

Niedzwiedzki tried everything, and made it a very cloe race. But in the end he fell three hundreds of a second short: 37,00. After 7.05,57 on the 5k (23th) and 1.052,08 (10th) on the 1500 meters, Niedzwiedzki ended the tournament in place fourteen.

Luiza Zlotkowska fifth on 1500 meters
Polish Luiza Zlotkowska ended the World Championships on a fine fourteenth place. The 31-year old speed skater could enjoy the unique atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium for three distances.

On the 500 meters she opened in 41,70, a time which meant place seventeen in the end. Exactly the same place was het share on the 3k, which she finished in 4.32,62. On the 1500 meters Zlotkowska showed what she is capable of. She raced towards an excellent time of 2.01,80 and took fifth place, little over a second away from the podium.

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