“We only know halfway through whether it will be exciting,” said Leerdam on Friday in the run-up to the tournament. The first 1,000 meters for the women are on the program at 3.46 pm.
Fight for the bronze
For the rest of the skaters, third place seems to be the highest attainable for the time being. Michelle de Jong has the best papers after the first 500 meters. Femke Kok’s teammate clocked the third fastest time with 38.04. Marrit Fledderus finished fourth with 38.27.
Short track champion Suzanne Schulting also started the sprint tournament well. Schulting finished fifth in Thialf with 38.57 in a personal record.
No Ter Mors
In any case, Jorien ter Mors will not be able to keep Leerdam and Kok off the title this weekend. The 2018 sprint world champion reported on Saturday morning with an ankle injury.
That is a big disappointment for Ter Mors, because the Olympic champion in the 1,000 meters had set her sights on this NK. Last weekend she ran the last distance at the NK all-round to save herself for the sprint tournament. That came to her a lot of criticism.
The NK sprint can be followed live this weekend at NOS on NPO1, NOS.nl, via flashes on NPO Radio 1 and via the NOS app. View the program below.