Dutch sprint favorites make no mistake on the first day of the World Cup

The Dutch sprint team got off to a good start at the World Championships in Seoul. Medal favorites Suzanne Schulting, Xandra Velzeboer, Jens van ‘t Wout and Sjinkie Knegt survived the qualifying rounds.

Schulting, 25, who died last year due to a corona infection, was on the ice for all three distances. He was the strongest of his race in the 500 and 1,000 metres, and finished second in the quarterfinals at the 1,500 metres.

Schulting went to South Korea, which he thought was cautious. “I will be very pleased and happy if I can go home with a single gold.”

The two-time Olympic champion in the 1000m says he was a little disappointed after the Beijing Games, where he won a single gold medal.

“Somehow I was very disappointed that I didn’t go home with more gold and didn’t hang around with it for long. I want to go home feeling very satisfied. That’s why I set the target a little more comfortably.”

Velzeboer’s main competitor

Perhaps its biggest rival over 500 meters comes from its home country: the Velzeboer. The 21-year-old talent is a world record holder and shortest distance world champion, and he thinks this has changed his status in the short track world.

“I’m the defending champion, so you enter a competition like this with a little more pressure than yourself.” However, he hopes to “find some open-mindedness again” in Seoul.

In any case, he was on the right track in the preliminary laps. Easily qualified for the quarterfinals in the 500 and 1,000 meters. Her sisters Michelle Velzeboer and Selma Poutsma also advanced to the semi-finals in the 1,500 meters. Poutsma also passed the preliminary laps over 500 and 1,000 metres.

In the men’s race, Jens van ‘t Wout is the Netherlands’ hope for a medal at the World Championships. The 21-year-old Van ‘t Wout made his international breakthrough this season. He became the European champion in the 1,500 meters and proved to be a versatile sprinter by winning the World Cup gold medal in all three distances.

Therefore, he will race all the distances in Seoul and confidently qualify for the next laps on the first day.

knelt down

Knegt, who won the World Cup overall standings in 2015, is currently competing for the World Championship medal. She dropped to 1,500 and was later included by the jury on the starting list for the semi-finals scheduled for Saturday.

Knegt had less success at the 1,000 meters. He was not involved in an argument with South Korean favorite Park Ji-won, among others.

Ahead of the final World Cup weekend in Dordrecht last month, the 33-year-old Knegt is still highly critical of national coach Niels Kerstholt. Knegt says he disagrees with the type of education, but that dispute is now resolved.

“Niels and I gave each other good advice and made the program accordingly. We worked hard,” he says, referring to the World Cup preparations. “I am happy with it. I hope Niels is too.”

The first day of the World Cup did not go well for all Dutch. After falling from 1,000 meters, Itzhak de Laat disappeared under the side and Friso Emons fell from 1,500 meters. Like Teun Boer in the 500m, you’re doomed to second chance laps.

The first World Championship medals will be distributed on Saturday. Then the finals in the 1500 and 500 meters are in the program.

Source: NOS