Patrick Roest has taken the silver medal in the men’s 5,000 metres distance skating event at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, with Sweden’s Nils van der Poel winning the gold by just 0.47 of a second.
Van der Poel was favourite for the event, having set world records in both the 5,000 metres and the 10,000 metres this season. He completed the distance in a time of 6.08.84. The bronze went to Hallgeir Engebraten of Norway.
Title holder Sven Kramer, taking part in his fifth Olympics, could do no better than ninth place. ‘It just did not go well,’ Kramer, who is now retiring from the 5,000 metres event, said. ‘It did not flow and I really had to fight.’
Kramer won silver in the 5,000 metres at the Turin Olympics in 2006 and has held the title since then.
Kramer will be back in action later in the games. In a week’s time he will be part of the team pursuit with Roest and Marcel Bosker and will also take part in the mass start on February 19.
On Monday, Dutch short track skaters will be back in action, with the women’s 500 metres and men’s 1,000 metres finals.
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