Speed skating-Otterspeer leads Dutch sweep in 1,000m final at World Cup
Hein Otterspeer led a Netherlands clean sweep of medals in the men's 1,000m final at the speed skating World Cup leg in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland, on Sunday - cementing expectations that the Dutch will win big at the Beijing Olympics.
Hein Otterspeer led a Netherlands clean sweep of medals in the men's 1,000m final at the speed skating World Cup leg in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland, on Sunday - cementing expectations that the Dutch will win big at the Beijing Olympics. Otterspeer posted a time of one minute, 8.67 seconds to break Russian Pavel Kulizhnikov's track record of 1:09.23 and grab the gold medal.
"I was looking forward to it because I was really good at training races. I had a good Dutch Nationals," Otterspeer said, referring to the Dutch national single distance championships. "The World Cups are really important to see where everyone's at. I'm glad I took to the win today."
The Netherlands are predicted to win 10 gold medals at the Beijing Games, according to a forecast by data analysts Nielsen's Gracenote. In the women's 1,500m final, Japan's Miho Takagi smashed the track record and won the gold medal in her international comeback.
Takagi, silver medallist at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in the 1,500m, did not travel abroad last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She finished ahead of American Brittany Bowe and Kazakhstan's Nadezhda Morozova, while 2018 Olympic gold medallist Ireen Wust of the Netherlands came fourth.
"I'm so happy I can skate at an international level again," Takagi said. "To get on top of the podium today is also great. "I hope to maintain a good condition this season towards Beijing."
The 2022 Winter Olympics begin on Feb. 4 in Beijing.
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