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Sven Kramer showed really good form at a preparation race on Friday afternoon. The 33-year-old speed skater of Team Jumbo-Visma set a new track record at 3,000 meters at Thialf Heerenveen: 3:37.39. Antoinette de Jong, Thomas Krol and Patrick Roest also skated a very good race.
"This is what I am able to do when my back does not hurt that much", Kramer said after his race. "My power and condition are very good. You want to have as many days like this as possible. Days like this give me a lot of confidence and today's result makes me really happy."
The multiple Olympic champion beat the track record, set by teammate Roest, by 0.78 seconds (3:37.39 vs. 3:38.17). "The last couple of weeks, I showed some good form at practices. When my back did not hurt, I was able to skate well. However, today I was finally able to get it done during a race. Hopefully, I can continue this good form at next week’s National Single Distance Championships. If so, some good things could happen."
Impressive performance by De Jong, Krol and Roest
Besides Kramer, De Jong, Krol and Roest skated a very good race at Thialf on Friday. The 24-year-old European champion allround set a time of 38.80 at 500 meters. De Jong had never skated below 39 seconds before at an ice rink in Europe. Krol just missed out on beating his personal best at 500 meters, setting a time of 35.15 (PB = 35.14). Roest managed to skate below 36 seconds at 500 meters at an European track for the first time in his career (35.89).