Speed skater Sven Kramer warmed up for the Winter Olympics by setting a new world record over 3,000 metres in a trial race in Pyeongchang.
The 31-year-old said he was surprised to have beaten his own record for a low-altitude venue, set two years ago in Heerenveen. Kramer clocked 3:38.64 to shave 0.15 seconds off the former mark.
‘I haven’t had a competitive race for seven weeks, so it was important to have a good run,’ said Kramer. ‘I feel good. I knew I was in this kind of form. This is just confirmation.’
The three-time Olympic champion left his competitors trailing, with compatriot Jorrit Bergsma two and a half seconds behind in second place. However, Bergsma is not competing in the 3,000 metres in South Korea, having chosen to concentrate on the 10K event.
Kramer went head-to-head against one of his biggest rivals for the Olympic crown, Dutch-born Canadian Ted-Jan Bloemen, who finished fifth overall in 3:42.97.
He is also the world record holder at low altitude for 5,000 metres, 10,000 metres and the individual pursuit.