Sochi 2014: Dutch skating success ‘bad for sport’, says sport’s historian

Sochi 2014: Speed skating could be 'ditched' according to a historian of the sport after Dutch dominate 10,000m to extend Sochi superiority

By Alan Ross
Dead sport: Marnix Koolhaas Photo: HollandDoc/YouTube

The Dutch dominance in the long track speed skating is going to be detrimental to the sport according to a historian.

While the success may be good for the Netherlands, skating historian Marnix Koolhaas says it will damage the sport by making it less attractive to other nations.

The Netherlands is the only country where speed skating is alive. The ice rinks are only full in the Netherlands

Marnix Koolhaas

Before today’s men’s 10,000m, eventually won by Dutchmen Jorrit Bergsma, Norway’s three competitors dropped out of the race as they did not think they could win.

“The other countries don’t have a chance and will raise their voices for the event to be ditched even louder,” Koolhaus told Nos television.

“The Netherlands is the only country where speed skating is alive. The ice rinks are only full in the Netherlands.”

The Dutch have won 19 medals in speed skating including three clean sweeps and added another sweep following the conclusion of the 10,000m.

Bergsma along with team-mates Sven Kramer, who claimed the 5,000m title earlier in the games and Bob de Jong beat out the competition for the podium spots.

Koolhaas has called for changes to be made to the format of speed skating to make it more exciting including the introduction quarter and semi-finals.

“Then you would get the best skaters competing against each other and it would be very exciting,” he said.

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