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Euphoric Krol seizes Olympic gold in men's 1,000m

Euphoric Krol seizes Olympic gold in men's 1,000m

For the first time in his career, Thomas Krol won Olympic gold in the 1,000 meters on Friday. The 29-year-old speed skater of Team Jumbo-Visma was the only one who skated a time below 1:08 at the Ice Ribbon stadium in Beijing, finishing in 1:07.92. "This is a dream come true."

It was Krol's second medal in Beijing. Last week, he earned silver in the men’s 1,500-meter race behind former teammate Kjeld Nuis. Canada's Laurent Dubreuil sped out of the blocks to claim silver with a time of 1:08.32 and Norway's Håvard Lorentzen notched bronze (1:08.48). Kai Verbij, Krol's teammate at Team Jumbo-Visma, finished 30th. He backed off on the final crossover straight, knowing he didn't have enough speed to get in front of Dubreuil.

After skating an opener of 16.6 and a first lap of 24.9 seconds, Krol could chase Lorentzen in the last lap of his race. Because of a strong final lap, the Dutchman was able to secure the gold, crossing the line in 1:07.92. "My race felt amazing and almost flawless. However, afterwards I saw the scoreboard and to be honest, I expected a faster time."

"I thought the winning time would be something around 1:07.5, so I was a little bit disappointed at first. It was such a nerve-racking final race between Dubreuil and Verbij. I was counting down on the scoreboard and thought please, let that time turn red. Luckily it did. I am so happy with my first Olympic gold medal."

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