The Speed Skating Opposition at the Lausanne Tokyo Olympic Detonated into Lifetime with Gold Medals for Yamamoto Yudai (Japan) and Isabel Grevelt (Netherland) in the Men’s and Women’s 500 meters Races.
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Yamamoto, a 17-year-old from Hokkaido, carved crossways the end line on the remarkable St. Moritz Speed Skating Oval in 36.42 seconds, ahead of silver medalist Nil Llop Izquierdo (ESP), and Xue Zhiwen (CHN) in third.
“I knew I had to end under 41 seconds,” said the 17-year-old, who succeeded the Dutch 500m junior B title in 2018/19. “I have finished in the past, so I was hoping for it, but I was still really nervous. I am usually always the last one to start and now I had to race ago many other athletes. So I had to wait for some time but it feels bizarre to success gold.”
Yamamoto’s win in the men’s event presented bittersweet. In the final race among Pavel Taran (RUS) and Sebas Diniz (NED), the extremely stared 17-year-old from the Netherlands tumbled to the ice, giving Japan a first-place end in the final rankings.
Yamamoto said ”I’m very happy, but also unhappy. Sebas is very quick. This is my 1st time skating on a lake. I think it was very hard because there were cracks in it. But it was not problematic for me.”
Yamamoto was not alone in having to manage an unfamiliar environment. Built into the ice on Lake St. Moritz, the natural track made life difficult for a field of athletes more used to racing across the perfect surface of an artificial course.
“It was hard said Julie Berg Sjoebrend (NOR), who ended 27th in a field of 32 athletes. I fell in a dump in the ice. That was difficult and I was kind of frightened It affected my sureness a little bit, so I strained to block it out. But I’ve valuable being here on the lake in the morning, seeing the sun come over the mountains.”