Dresden / Germany

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Sjinkie Knegt and Victor An are both used to winning, and the two skaters have both got their eye on gold medals at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games. So there’s no doubt their head-to-head on the Dresden ice in the 500m final was something of a dress rehearsal for next month. 

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It was the Netherlands racer who prevailed at the EnergieVerbund Arena, though – by a couple of skate inches in a photo finish. It was his second gold medal of the day, having earlier dominated the 1500m.

A tactical race that built up to a frantic finish was highly exciting for the German crowd. It certainly excited Knegt, too. 

“I was very pleased to just beat Victor to the line, because I know it’s an event he is targeting at the Olympics,” said Knegt. “The tactics went well.

“It was a more tactical race, and I think it needed to be, because the first two races had all just been about pure speed. I saved something for the end. I wasn’t going at 100 per cent until those final two laps.”

An took the silver medal, with France’s Thibaut Faconnet in third place.

The B final was won by Vladislav Bykanov (ISR).