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At the ISU World Single Distance Championships, Kai Verbij claimed his second world title of his career in the men's 1,000-meter race on Saturday. Teammate Thomas Krol was disqualified after two false starts.
Verbij, who won his first world title at the ISU World Single Distance Championships in Inzell (Germany) in 2019, seized gold in the men's 1,000-meter race with a time of 1:08.05 on Saturday. By setting that time, he finished 0.26 seconds ahead of reign world champion Pavel Kulizhnikov (Russia), who took silver in 1:08.31.
Laurent Dubreuil, who became world champion in the 500m on Friday, took bronze (1:08.56). Team Jumbo-Visma speed skater Krol was disqualified for the second consecutive year. This time due to two false starts.
"It is hard to become world champion once, but winning two world titles is even tougher," Verbij said after his race. "Fortunately, I made it happen. Two years ago, it was a bigger surprise than it was today, since no one expected it. However, this year I was one of the big favorites to win the title, because of my strong performances at the two ISU World Cups.
Despite winning his second world title, Verbij was not that pleased with the way he had skated. "Today, I made a couple of mistakes, so when I crossed the finish line, I did not know whether my time would be good enough to take gold. Of course, I am really happy with this world title, but I still think there is a lot of room for improvement."
For Verbij it was his last race of the season, so his first season as a member of Team Jumbo-Visma came to an end. "It is really nice to conclude this short and strange speed skating season with a world title. I did not start my season that well, I felt like a bitcoin. I did not want to be a one-day wonder. That's why I joined this team last summer. I am still really happy with my decision, because I have shown some great things during the season. The results give me a lot of confidence for next season."
Of course, Krol was very disappointed after his disqualification. "I don't know why it happened. I don't make a mistake like this often, but I did it twice today. Maybe the starter took too long, maybe not. However, you always have to play by the rules. That is not what I did today. This sucks."
"How can I take revenge for this disappointment? Simple, by skating a good 1,500-meter race tomorrow. Of course, this is not what you want, I would rather have skated a good race today. I have shown some good form in the last couple of months, so I know what I am capable of. I wanted to show it today, but now I have to do it tomorrow. That is what I am going to do!"