For long track speed skaters the first part of the season is ended. The first real balance can be made. Some skaters achieved their goals and can start with new goals in the second half of the season, but for others the season is already almost over.
To be national champion is nice, but more importantly for most top skaters is to qualify for the big international tournaments. Sven Kramer, Wouter Olde Heuvel, Koen Verweij. Ireen Wust, Jorien Voorhuis and Linda de Vries did this last weekend. The rest of the skaters who had the ambition to qualify for the European Championships in Russia must now focus on other targets.
Discussion about qualifying World Distances
For stayers among the speed skaters the nationals were also important as a qualifying race for the world championship per distance Jorrit Bergsma, Sven Kramer, Carlijn Achtereekte and Jorien House are already qualified. Four names that skated the longest distance in the allround tournament. Big names like Bob de Jong and Carien Kleibeuker did not qualify. Both acknowledged stayers did their race before or after the tournament in an empty cold stadium and their race circumstances were completely. De Jong and Kleibeuker had protested to the Dutch Federation, but got no reply. For both skaters and other stayers who did not make it the season brings only the three- & five Kilometer.
The first part of the season has yet to finish for the sprinters. The weekend of 17 & 18 January is for them very important. Because that weekend the KPN NK Sprint will be held in Groningen. During this tournament the sprinters can qualify for the World Championships.