Kjeld Nuis recovers from early disappointment to win men's 1500m and secure Beijing 2022 berth at Dutch speed skating Olympic qualifying tournament
Nuis, who finished fourth in the men's 1000m earlier in the week, will have the chance to defend his Olympic title in Beijing in February.
The Dutch speed skating Olympic qualifying tournament came to a close today (30 December) as qualifying spots for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games were determined in the women's 5000m and men's 1500m in Thialf, Netherlands.
In the former, Irene Schouten proved why she is the reigning world champion by skating to a comfortable first-place finish in 6:50.48, almost five seconds ahead of Sanne In 't Hof in second. Both women have thus qualified to represent the Netherlands in the event in Beijing, while Carlijn Achtereekte just missed out in third (however, the 31-year-old has already punched her ticket to Beijing after already qualifying for the 3000m - where she is the reigning Olympic champion - earlier in the week).
In the men's 1500m, Kjeld Nuis made amends for missing out on the chance to defend his 1000m Olympic title by securing a hard-fought victory in 1:43.85. The 32-year-old, who is also the reigning Olympic champion in the 1500m, finished just ahead of Thomas Krol (who will compete in both the 1000m and 1500m in Beijing), with Tijmen Snel in third.
The speed skating competition at Beijing 2022 is scheduled to run from 5 February to 19 February. The Netherlands, who have won the most Olympic medals in the competition by a healthy margin (121, including 42 golds), are favoured for podium finishes in all events.