The team hunt has been on the Olympic calendar since the Turin Olympics. Countries cover a distance in teams of three. For men, eight courses (3,098 metres), while women ski six courses (2,324 metres).
It is important to ride in each other’s fight as much as possible, in order to make optimal use of the skater in front of you in terms of aerodynamics. Time stops when the last of the three skaters cross the finish line, so it’s important to keep in mind the level of your weakest skater.
At the Olympics, the waste system of the semi-finals is used. Two country teams are on the right track at the same time, but they start from two different sides. Eight teams will start in the quarter-finals and the four fastest will advance to the semi-finals.
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From that moment on, the head-to-head split in the tournament begins. Two teams compete directly against each other and the fastest in progress. The slowest should go home.
Holland is traditionally very good at team pursuit, but only managed to win the gold medal once. It happened in Sochi in 2014. Four years ago, Japanese women were not accepted and Lotte van Beek, Antoinette de Jong, Marit Linstra and Irene West had to be content with the silver medal.
Japanese women are still world champions and world record holders. However, Japan did not come close to Canada in the World Cup standings. The Canadian women won the three competitions and this classification according to force majeure. The Netherlands came in third after Japan. It should be noted that Canada was the only country in the top three to play with exactly the same team every time, which is a huge advantage.
The Netherlands will probably have a very strong squad in Beijing. Erin Scott, Erin Faust and Antoinette de Jong form the team that will compete against Canada and Japan for the gold medal. Canada and Japan are candidates a bit up front, but the Netherlands is by no means without a chance.
The Netherlands will face Norway in the quarter-finals, but as said, the opponent is not important yet. Time in the top four shouldn’t be a problem for the ladies. The final match for the team’s pursuit is scheduled for Tuesday, February 15th.
Photo: Getty Images
As with the ladies, only the Dutch gentlemen were able to win the gold medal in Sotje. Four years ago, the team won a bronze medal. The Dutch trio of Sven Kramer, Marcel Busker and Doi de Vries is the world champion and also set a world record. Unfortunately, Doi de Vries will not be located in Beijing. Patrick Roest is the one who completes the team.
The Netherlands finished fourth in the World Cup standings. The first World Cup match was won, but in the matches that followed, the Netherlands were disappointingly sixth and seventh. The United States won the ranking. The US team won the last two matches of the World Cup by defeating Norway and Canada.
However, the World Cup does not say much in the team quest, because the composition at the Olympics can be very different. If the team’s best drivers don’t qualify individually, there may be a team at the Olympics that has never raced together.
The final match for the team’s pursuit is scheduled for Tuesday, February 15th.
World Cup | Bosker, Kramer and Roest are the fastest trio in team pursuit
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