Hamar, Norway

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UpAgain Quote Card Pedersen

Sverre Lunde Pedersen already won three silver medals at the ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships. This weekend the 27-year-old Norwegian hopes to redeem himself from a season full of physical discomfort, when he starts in front of a home crowd at the ISU World Speed Skating Championships in Hamar.

Pedersen got injured in a bike accident together with team-mate Simen Spieler Nilssen in Inzell, Germany, in September.

At first his injuries did not seem to be too bad, but the damage appeared to be worse then expected over the first few months of the season.

"It was a lot worse than I thought [initially]," Pedersen says. "I did not think that the recovery time would be that long, but I wasn't aware about the damage for my body."

Pedersen only found out about that damage slowly.

"I had headaches after races, and my body wasn't recovering from training. Even after an easy training I felt tired the next day.

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Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR) at the ISU European Speed Skating Championships 2019Ā©International Skating Union (ISU)

"Maybe I was too eager to go back to in training as usual, and exactly that made the process really long. I was struggling every day. It was hard to train and hard to rest normally."

After acknowledging the problem, Pedersen slowly found his way up again at the fourth leg of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Nagano in December.

"I felt that my 5000m in Nagano was a positive race," he says. Pedersen won the B Division in a time that would have put him in fourth place, and only one second from gold in the A Division.

"After [Nagano] training has been going more like normal. It was more stable every day and I could manage to follow the program without changes since Christmas." 

At the ISU European Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen in January, Pedersen finished fourth in the 1500m and sixth in the 5000m. A confirmation that he was on his way back.

"I'm finally feeling better right now," Pedersen commented in Heerenveen. "I had a good week, it feels like my body is getting better and better every day."

At the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Salt Lake City two weeks ago, Pedersen lost his 5000m World title, but coming fourth was another step forward after Heerenveen.

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Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR) at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships 2019Ā©International Skating Union (ISU)

"After only two weeks of normal training, I could not expect to be back at the highest level again," he said.

Whether another two weeks in the run-up to the ISU World Speed Skating Championships in Hamar is enough get up to a World title level, remains to be seen. 

Winning the title would mean double redemption. Not only would Pedersen finally leave the bike crash behind, he would also lift the curse of 2018, when he missed out on the ISU World Allround Speed Skating title in Amsterdam, dropping from first to second in he ranking due to a fall in the final 10000m.

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Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR) at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships 2019Ā©International Skating Union (ISU)