Patrick Roest takes allround world title after Pedersen fall

March 11, 2018

Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway reacts at the end of his race after crashing during the men's 10,000 meters race the World Championships Speedskating Allround at the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sunday, March 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

AMSTERDAM (AP) — In a stunning finish to the speedskating Allround World Championships, Dutchman Patrick Roest won the title Sunday after Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway fell in the closing 10,000-meter race as he was on track for a convincing overall victory.

Pedersen picked himself up off the ice at the temporary, outdoor oval at Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium and still managed to come back to beat nine-time allround champion Sven Kramer in their head-to-head battle to finish second overall.

But he lost so much time that a title that was his for the taking slipped through his fingers and went to Roest.

After the race, Pedersen sat at the side of the oval with his head in his hands as Kramer gave him a consoling pat on the back.

“I am almost never falling,” Pedersen said. “I don’t know what to say.”

In a changing of the guard, Pedersen’s fall handed the allround title to Roest, Kramer’s 22-year-old teammate and training partner.

“I can’t believe it,” Roest said. “Of course it’s a shame that Sverre fell. You wouldn’t wish that on him. But it’s very cool to be world champion allround.”

Dutchman Marcel Bosker took third place in the overall standings and Kramer finished fourth.

Pedersen, who won an Olympic gold medal in the team pursuit last month, appeared to have set up victory with a win in the 1,500, crossing in 1 minute, 48.33 seconds. Kramer could only manage 5th place, more than two seconds behind. That result meant that Kramer had to beat the 25-year-old Norwegian by more than 16 seconds in a head-to-head battle in the final pairing of the closing 10,000.

Roest was some eight seconds behind Pedersen ahead of the 10,000.

On Saturday, Roest won the opening 500 in 36.97 and Pedersen edged Kramer in the 5,000, winning in 6 minutes, 33.81 seconds.

“What can I say? It’s a pity for all of us that something like this happens,” Pedersen said. “But that’s how it is.”

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