December 6, 2022

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“Life in Friesland Pays Off for Bart Swings” |  to ski

“Life in Friesland Pays Off for Bart Swings” | to ski

Bart Swings re-established confidence in the European Speed ​​Skating Championships last weekend with fourth, sixth and first place in the group start. Our skier Bert Sterckx was there in Heerenveen. How does the 30-year-old Swings perform in a month before the games? “It’s good to have, but it means very little to Beijing.”

Good times in 1500m (6), 5000m (4) and gold at the start of the block. Sterckx tested it from the front row: “The swings have a good feel and drove well in the group start, but two more Beijing skaters were added.”

“At the World Cup, the Swings really stood their ground, so it’s certainly not hopeless. But the Olympic race on the penultimate day of the Winter Games is going to look very different tactically.”

“There’s going to be the American, Joey Mantia, who’s very good at the mass start. There are a few Asians coming in, especially the South Koreans, who are dangerous in the sprint.” The Swings took the silver at the 2018 Olympics behind South Korea’s Seung-hon Lee.

“That means there could be a few more splits than Sunday’s race, and that more holes have to be closed. The pace was very high on Sunday, which was in favor of the swing. That might be different in Beijing.”

“He should be in this race in a different way. But of course he can read a race like no other.” (read under the picture)

“You can certainly count the swings among the candidates in the mass start in Beijing”

What can we learn from this season’s World Cup finals? “Swings skated against the South Koreans and Mantia in the World Cup finals and a good performance. He took the gold in Salt Lake City and the silver in Calgary. He finished sixth in his first World Cup.”

“You can definitely count him among the candidates for Beijing. He’s always among the tough guys at the start of the crowd.”

Styrks also noted that his swing performance in 5,000 and 1,500 metres gave him a boost. “Definitely fourth in the 5000 metres. He’s been very stable this season at that distance.”

“He set a Belgian record in Salt Lake City with a very tight run. All the lap times were very close. He did it very well, and it gave him fourth. In Tommaso and Calgary he was sixth and in the European Championships, so he was fourth again. “

Swinging is not 100, but 200 or 300 percent more on the ice than before.

Burt Strix

The swing returns to the top in no time. “I remember a few years ago we actually crossed him off those mileage. It was always a search for the right technique, something was always wrong and he’s not even in the top ten anymore.”

Sterckx knows what helps him: “He lives in Friesland for a few months a year and that obviously pays off. It’s not 100 percent, but maybe even 200 or 300 percent more on ice than before. It’s becoming automatic.”

“I also noticed it in his runs. He had a tough training schedule for this European Championship, so he lacked freshness in the last laps of the 5km. But he’s driving 6’15”, his second time ever in Thielf. That says something, of course.”

“IKO Team Failed”

Swings is part of the Dutch IKO team. “He has good training partners there. But if you look at who on this team is allowed to go to the Winter Games, the IKO has failed. Swings is the team boss at the moment.”

“The only other person allowed to go is Estonian Martin Leif, whom we don’t know in Belgium.”

“Julian Ter Morse, good for Olympic medals in short track speed skating and speed skating, Esme Visser, Olympic 5,000 champion and Jan Blochwesen, who won medals at the Games in 2010, 2014 and 2018, are not among them.”

“Overall, this team has done very poorly, causing the problem that the Swings do not have their training buddies in Beijing. That is a shame. So he will have to look for other people there. Fortunately, he has been in the environment for years and it will work.”

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