Saturday 17 August 2019

Dutch short track star Sjinkie Knegt hospitalised with severe burns

Sjinkie Knegt (with beard). Photo: Hank Prinsen via Wikimedia Commons

Dutch short track speed skater Sjinkie Knegt has been hospitalised in Groningen with severe burns after an accident at his home in the Frisian village of Bantega on Thursday.

The Dutch skating association KNSB said in a statement that the Olympic silver medalist’s clothing had caught fire as he was lighting a wood-burning stove.

His mother told the Telegraaf that the skater is in a lot of pain but had a good night. He has burns over much of his body, but his feet are most severely injured, she said.

‘This is the worst thing that can happen to a stop athlete,’ said national skating coach Jeroen Otter. ‘If you break an arm or a leg, you know roughly how long the recovery will be… but this has so much more impact.’

Knegt is the most successful Dutch short track skater ever. He was world champion in 2015 and took the European titles in 2012, 2105 and 2018.

Knegt has reportedly contacted the rest of the speed skating team to wish them good luck at the European championships which are taking place in Dordrecht this weekend.

Knegt would not have been taking part the championships anyway because he was recovering from an injury sustained in December when his leg was caught between a door frame and a fork-lift truck.

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