HomeWorld NewsSpeedskating champ chooses sportsmanship over Olympic medal

Speedskating champ chooses sportsmanship over Olympic medal

BEIJING (AP) — Kai Verbij was the reigning world champion in speedskating’s 1,000 meters.

The Dutch star actually preferred his probabilities of winning a medal Friday on the Beijing Olympics.

But, with a split-second little bit of sportsmanship, Verbij misplaced any likelihood of claiming a spot on the rostrum.

In reality, he completed lifeless final.

Verbij backed off on the ultimate crossover straight, figuring out he did not have fairly sufficient pace to get in entrance of Canada’s Laurent Dubreuil.

Rather than a threat a collision, Verbij popped out of his racing crouch and slowed so he stayed away from Dubreuil, who zipped away to seize the silver medal.

With his medal probabilities gone, Verbij coasted round to the end line. He wound up greater than 3 1/2 seconds behind the best-to-last finisher, Austin Kleba of the United States.

“I’m pretty sad I couldn’t set a proper time,” Verbij stated. “But Laurent skated really, really fast in the first 600. It can happen. After the second inner, I didn’t feel I had enough speed to go before him in the lane change. So I had to quit. Otherwise, I would’ve been disqualified and probably messed up his race.”

In speedskating, the rivals are required to alter lanes on the again straightaway of every full lap as a result of the internal lane of the 400-meter oval covers a shorter distance than the outer lane.

The skater going from the outer to internal lane has precedence, and there is often no problem with the changeover.

But Dubreuil, whose greatest race is the five hundred, went out exceptionally quick. That left him even with Verbij as they got here off the next-to-last flip.

Rather than try a dangerous transfer, Verbij gave approach to his competitor.

“I can’t say thank you enough to him,” Dubreuil stated. “It was a really professional and classy move to do. He’s a friend, so when he’s gets over it — I’ll give him some time — I’ll thank him for sure.”

Dubreuil stated it was “unfortunate for us to be tied with 250 to go.”

“I went faster than I’ve ever gone in the 600,” the Canadian skater stated. “I was ahead of what I’ve been in my race plan.”

Verbij, who finished sixth in the 1,000 at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, had high hopes for his first Olympic medal in Beijing.

But when he saw the start list, he knew there could be an issue with the final changeover because of Dubreuil’s early speed. Verbij, on the other hand, is much stronger on the final lap.

“It’s not the first time it’s happened to me, but not at the Olympics, of course,” Verbij stated. “It’s fairly unhappy. I’m fairly disillusioned. But somebody needed to lose, I suppose.”

Another Dutch skater, Thomas Krol, captured the gold on the Ice Ribbon area.

Krol lamented that his teammate did not get an opportunity to point out what he might do.

“It’s just really sad to see this happen because he’s my best friend,” Krol stated. “He was on the course for a medal for sure. I was really cheering for him and hoping that he would be on the podium with me.

“I really feel sorry for him. My heart hurts.”

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More AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and find his work at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry

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