Men Final Podium (L-R): Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR), Patrick Roest (NED), Marcel Bosker (NED)
Sverre Lunde Pedersen was 3500 meters away from taking the first Norwegian ISU World Allround Speed Skating title since Johann Olav Koss in 1994, but did not manage to bring it home after a bizarre crash and Patrick Roest (NED) ran away with the title. Pedersen managed to get up quickly and still secured the silver medal, but his dream was in shambles. “I knew I lost the gold there, there’s nothing more to say,” he said. Marcel Bosker (NED) edged out defending champion Sven Kramer (NED) for the bronze medal.
Roest was as shocked as the rest of the stadium when he noticed Pedersen’s crash. “It gave me a scare, I thought: he has to get up quickly otherwise I’ll be the world champion. It’s a sort of a reverse thought. You can’t cheer, and you don’t really feel joy. It’s a pity for Pedersen, because he skated such a fantastic tournament here.”
Pedersen takes control in 1500m
Pedersen took control of the Championsips in the 1500m, beating Roest in the final pair. The Dutchman, who led the classification after the first day, started faster than his Norwegian opponent, but could not keep up the pace. Pedersen was half a second faster in the penultimate lap, and 0.9 seconds in the final lap to finish in 1:48.33. Roest, who had to hold back coming from the inner lane to let Pedersen cross first into his final inner corner, conceded 1.54 seconds and dropped to second place in the ranking.
“The first 300m were ok, but then I felt that the legs were not good” Roest said. “I was disappointed because the 1500m normally is my better distance.”
Defending champion Kramer set 1:50.62 to come fifth in the 1500m, and he was ranked third after three distances. Pedersen had to defend a 7.78 second gap over Roest to take the title, and Kramer was 16.14 behind the Norwegian. The nine-time champion had to defend a 4.30 second gap over compatriot Marcel Bosker in the 10000m to secure his podium spot.
Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR)
Pedersen won the 1500m, with Roest coming second, and Haralds Silovs (LAT), who was the first to stop the clock under 1:50 seconds, came third in 1:49.97. The Latvian qualified for the 10000m coming sixth in the ranking after three distances. Only eight skaters qualify for the final 10000m. Apart from the top-four, Bart Swings and Nils van der Poel also qualified based on their ranking and 5000m result, but Håvard Bøkko (NOR) was the unlucky one to drop out, despite being 7th in the classification after three distances. Danila Semerikov (RUS) had a better 5000m result. The Russian had come fifth in Saturday’s 5000m and Bøkko’s ninth place in the 5000m cost him dearly.
Van der Poel sets best 10,000m time
Semerikov did not have much joy of his 10,000m qualification. After edging out Van der Poel with 13:40.36 versus 13:40.38 in a thrilling first pair, the Russian was disqualified because he hindered his opponent at one of the cross-overs. It was the lead-up to a bizarre crash that made up for an afternoon that was as eventful as it was agonizing, and at the end of which Van der Poel unexpectedly got the flowers for winning the 10,000m.
In the penultimate pair Roest and Bosker pushed each other to a higher level, to put a much pressure as they could on Pedersen and Kramer, who had to conclude the Championships in the final pair. Roest won the pairing in 13:44.94, while Bosker clocked 13:49.49. They took silver and bronze behind Van der Poel in the distance and had to wait what their efforts would lead to in the classification.
Patrick Roest (NED)
“Suddenly I was in the pads”
Pedersen quickly took the lead in his race versus Kramer, whom he had beaten in the 5000m for the first time on Saturday night. “It came as a surprise to me that he did not go with me at the start,” Pedersen said. The 25-year-old Norwegian seemed to be cruising to his first career world title, until he fell out of the blue. “I’m not sure what happened, it happened really quick,” he said. “Suddenly I was in the pads. I hit the pads really hard and I was a little confused.”
Despite realizing that his dream was over, Pedersen got up to secure silver. “I knew I lost the title. I had seven seconds to Patrick before the race, but when you fall you lose so much. It takes a lot of time to get up.” The Norwegian couldn’t remember to have ever crashed in a 5000m or a 10,000m before. “It doesn’t happen too often, and I’m happy for that. When it happens it’s really sad for the one who goes down. Today it was me and I hope that no one will suffer this in the future.”
Kramer who skated a disappointing 10,000m himself, anticipated to Pedersen’s crash. “When he fell, I wanted to skate all-out for the podium, but I quickly noticed that he got back behind me very fast and I thought when I pull through now, I’ll drag Pedersen to first place, so I didn’t. Of course I’d rather see Roest than Pedersen to become champion”, he said. Pedersen eventually finished in 14:00.60 and even defeated Kramer, who finished sixth in 14:05.70 and conceded the bronze medal to Bosker. “Of course I wanted to do better, but it is what it is. I did not feel well physically this weekend,” he concluded.
Marcel Bosker (NED)
Respect for Pedersen and gratitude towards audience
Bosker was proud to take his first ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships podium. “My 500m was a bit sloppy and I lost some time there, but the other distances were good.” The 21-year-old Dutch Allround champion felt sorry for Pedersen: “I’ve always been a great fan of his, he really deserved that title. To lose a championship like this, is tough, but I’ve got a lot of respect for the way he regrouped and fought for that silver medal.”
Pedersen was devastated, but still managed to pull himself together for a lap of honor to thank the Amsterdam audience. “They were cheering for me all weekend, they were amazing, they were still supporting me after that crash, that means a lot me.”
Roest had also enjoyed the atmosphere in the packed stadium throughout the weekend. “This is very special, look at how many people came to watch this weekend. I have never experienced that before and I don’t expect a similar experience soon. If you ask me, yes, I would love to have similar outdoor tournaments in the future. This was awesome.”