“The best day in my career, for sure,” said Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen (NOR) after he added 1000m gold to his 500m victory on the first day of the World Cup Speed Skating weekend on home ice in Stavanger.
Lorentzen started in the final paring versus Kai Verbij (NED). The race was close until the finish line. But Verbij was not able to use the last inner corner to pass his Norwegian competitor, who clocked 1 minute, 08.22 seconds.
Last week, in the Netherlands, the 1000m bronze was won by Lorentzen:
“In Heerenveen I was a bit too excited in the final 300m, when I saw Kjeld’s [Nuis] back on the back stretch. This week I kept cool, and kept watching my technique,” he said.
“I could hear Kai [Verbij] coming in the last corner and I just sat down and skated through.”
Lorentzen had never won a World Cup race in his career before last week, when he won in the 500m. Now he has three gold medals.
“I feel slightly stronger this season, that’s power and technique” he said.
“My strongest point as a speed skater is top-speed maintenance.”
Lorentzen did not want to celebrate too much yet, however:
“Nobody will remember this weekend when the Olympics come,” he concluded.
Verbij came second in 1:08.47. The 23-year-old Dutchman was satisfied about his race, considering that he did not have the best preparation, arriving for the Stavanger World Cup only last night:
“I'm satisfied. I knew that Lorentzen would be very strong. I thought I could catch him in the last 200 meters, but he was very fast in that final outer corner.
“It's a pity to be second again, but this is the maximum for this moment.”