Home » Bart Swings starts the World Championship with disappointment at 5,000 meters: “Not a top stage, but everything is fine for the mass start”

Bart Swings starts the World Championship with disappointment at 5,000 meters: “Not a top stage, but everything is fine for the mass start”

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Bart Swings started his tenth World Speed ​​Skating Championships on Thursday with great ambition. In Calgary, Canada, extending the world title in the mass start is priority number one, the Belgian wren also had made the 5,000 meters an important goal. Since he unexpectedly won his first bronze medal at that distance at the World Championships in Heerenveen last year, Swings has been dreaming aloud of a double victory at the Milan 2026 Winter Olympics: a second Olympic title in the mass start and a medal in the five kilometers.

Our 33-year-old compatriot started to delve deeper into the training teachings of Nils van der Poel, the eccentric Swede who became world and Olympic champion in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters a few years ago and subsequently threw his revolutionary training schedule online. This should result in a new medal for Swings in the 5,000 meters on Thursday. But the opening number for the men turned out to be a disappointment for him. The Herent native never got into the required rhythm on the highland track in Calgary. At the European Championships in Heerenveen five weeks ago, Swings finished fifth, but on Thursday he did not get further than eighth place. While only one non-European – the Canadian Ted-Jan Bloemen – finished ahead of him. His time of 6 minutes and 15 seconds was also not what he had hoped for.

“It wasn’t a top ride,” Swings told us afterwards. “I actually rode a decent race. But the lap times close to 29.0 seconds, which were needed for a place in the top five, proved too difficult. My lap times were relatively flat and I didn’t completely break down. This means that I am physically fine. But the speed just wasn’t there enough.”

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Swings has to work again on Friday evening in Calgary with the Belgian team pursuit. “We have nothing to lose at our first World Cup as a team.” That is completely different on Saturday, when he defends his world title in the mass start. “But I received enough signals today that everything is certainly in order for the mass start.”

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The World Cup podium in the 5,000 meters was a copy of the European Championship. The Dutchman Patrick Roest is number one, followed by the Italian Davide Ghiotto and the Norwegian Sander Eitrem. Roest was undefeated this season and won a 5 kilometer event for the tenth time in a row. The 28-year-old powerhouse from Lekkerkerk is a more than deserved world champion. Roest is only the fourth skater to extend a world title in the five kilometers. Only Gianni Romme, Chad Hedrick and Sven Kramer preceded him.

Top ten

1 Patrick Roest (NED): 6:07.28

2. Davide Ghiotto (ITA): 6:08.61 (+1.33)

3. Sander Eitrem (NOR): 6:09.00 (+1.72)

4. Timothy Loubineaud (FRA): 6:12.15 (+4.87)

5. Ted-Jan Bloemen (CAN): 6:12.66 (+5.38)

6. Michele Malfatti (ITA): 6: 14.74 (+7.46)

7. Chris Huizinga (NED)6:15.04 (+7.76)

8. Bart Swings (BEL): 6:15.08 (+7.80)

9. Peter Michael (NZL): 6:16.3 (+9.11)

10. Hallgeir Engebråten (NOR): 6:18.49 (+11.21)

Gold for Schouten, bag last

Earlier in the evening, the first gold of the World Championships in Calgary went to Dutch top favorite Irene Schouten in the 3,000 meters. She stayed ahead of home rider Isabelle Weidemann and the Czech veteran Martina Sablikova. For Olympic champion Schouten it is the first world title on this song. Our compatriot Sandrine Tas finished twentieth and last after a disappointing performance.

© International Skating Union via

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