The massastart is the newest part within the langebaanschaatsen. Since 2015, on the programme of the world CHAMPIONSHIP distances, and in Pyeongchang is the first olympic. But what is the massastart exactly? Time for an explanation.
The massastart is not only the newest, but on first glance also the most complex element within the langebaanschaatsen. As the name suggests is there in this brand new olympic part with multiple skaters at the same time driven. The total field consists of 24 skaters. Via two semi-finals places, sixteen of them for the final battle.
Once in the final the case after 16 laps as the first to finish the race. Along the way there are a number of intermediary sprints where points can be earned. For the layman this may sound confusing, but former world champion Irene Schouten explains that the best simple. “Who is the final sprint to win is first, number two second and number three third. So you need to be in the first three to finish for the podium.” The remaining skaters are in the results are ranked according to the number of points scored in the sprints.
Verweij, Kramer, Schouten and Van der Weijden
Who are the favorites on the first olympic massastart? That is a tricky question. Of all the disciplines within the langebaanschaatsen is the massastart the least predictable. Irene Schouten and Annouk van der Weijden, Dutch women at the start. Especially Schouten makes a good chance, but that also applies to at least five other women. The Dutch mannenploeg consists of Sven Kramer and Koen Verweij. They will have their sights mainly focus on the South Korean Seung-hoon Lee. At the Games of 2010, he won gold on the 10 km, but in recent years he focuses on the massastart. A good move, as it seems. Lee drive smart and has a good finishing sprint. And, not unimportant: he rides in his home country. To Kramer and Verweij the tricky task of the Korean audience get silent.
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