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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Dutch legend Kramer may miss out on Beijing Olympic Games

Sven Kramer of the Netherlands competes in the 5000m men during the Olympic qualification tournament long track speed skating for the Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing in 2022, at Thialf ice arena in Heerenveen, northern Netherlands, on December 26, 2021.  - Netherlands OUT
 (Photo by Vincent Jannink / ANP / AFP)
Sven Kramer of the Netherlands competes in the 5000m men during the Olympic qualification tournament long track speed skating for the Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing in 2022, at Thialf ice arena in Heerenveen, northern Netherlands, on December 26, 2021. - Netherlands OUT (Photo by Vincent Jannink / ANP / AFP)

Paris: Speed skating legend Sven Kramer could miss out on a place in the 2022 Winter Olympics after finishing third in the 5,000 metres at Dutch trials for the Beijing Games on Sunday.


Kramer, who won the last three Olympic 5,000m titles, is the most decorated male Olympic speed skater of all time with nine medals.


But the 35-year-old's 6min 12.29sec was third best on the day behind Patrick Roest (6:08.64) and Jorrit Bergsma (6:11.14).


Roest, a three-time world allround champion, is assured of his ticket to Beijing and should be accompanied by Bergsma, but Kramer must now wait until the end of the Dutch trials on Thursday.


While the Netherlands can enter three men in the Olympic 5,000m, a nation cannot enter more than nine speed skaters per gender.


Kramer must now count on certain rivals qualifying for two or three distances to be selected.


Another possibility would be for Kramer to be selected for the team pursuit event in which he won Olympic gold in 2014.


"I can be useful for the pursuit and do a good 5,000m," insisted Kramer, who had back surgery in May, after the race.


Another Dutch legend, Ireen Wust, also failed to guarantee a place at Beijing.


The five-time Olympic champion finished third in the 1,000m on Sunday, but she can make up for it in her favourite event, the 1,500m, on Wednesday.


As with Kramer she is hoping to compete in a fifth Olympics from February 4-20. -- AFP


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