After the speed skaters, the speed skaters also qualified for the semi-finals in the team pursuit during the Beijing Olympic Games. National coach Jan Koopmans of Barlow is in charge of following up on the team and, as with the women, has seen a tough race.
Marcel Busker, Sven Kramer and Patrick Rost were fourth fastest.
The Dutch chasers became European champions in Heerenveen last month and are considered a favorite for medals. National coach Koopmans decided to get the same triple boot in the quarter-finals as he did in the European Championship. The four fastest of the eight nations in total qualified for the semi-finals. Orange raced against Canada in the quarter-finals, due in part to Rust’s strong finish, and won the stage in a time of 3.38.90.
With that time, the Netherlands didn’t become the fastest that day. Norway and the United States, the other two medal contenders, each led more than one second faster than Orange. Norway took first place because of the better finish. In the last stage, the Russian Olympic Committee also led a little faster than the Netherlands. Russians are not allowed to fly under their flag because Russia has been suspended for violating doping rules.
Because of the fourth time in the quarter-finals, the Netherlands will meet Norway in the semi-finals on Tuesday. The other semi-final is between the United States and the Russian Olympic Committee. The semi-final matches are scheduled for Tuesday. Then the medal finals are held.
On Saturday, the Dutch skaters have already qualified for the semi-finals of the team quest. They finished third in the quarter-finals and will meet Canada in the semi-finals on Tuesday.
Read alsoTough start for national coach Koopmans in games
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