World Speed Skating Championships: Cornelius Kersten Wins First British Medal Since 1951



World Speed Skating Championships: Cornelius Kersten wins first British medal since 1951

Cornelius Kersten has become the first British speed skater in 72 years to win a world speed skating medal.

The Olympian won 1,000m bronze at the World Single Distance Championships in the Dutch city of Heerenveen, as Jordan Stolz won gold and Thomas Krol silver.

The last British medal was Johnny Cronshey’s silver at the World Allround Championships in 1951.

“This is great,” said Kersten, 29. “I hadn’t expected it, certainly not after this season.”

At Beijing 2022, Kersten and his partner Ellia Smeding became the GB’s first long-track speed skaters to compete at a Winter Olympics since 1992.

The couple launched a coffee business to help fund their route to the 2022 Games but that will now be less of a concern for Kersten.

“You have to skate top eight or top four to get funding so this is very good news for Team Great Britain,” he added.

Kersten, who was born in the Netherlands and has a British mother, was 11th at the 2021 World Championships and ninth at the 2022 Olympics.

He is the first Briton to win a world speed skating medal in this format, which started in 1996, with individual titles being decided.

There are two other world championship events – the Allround Championships, which started in 1893, and the Sprint Championships (1970) – where skaters compete in multiple races to be crowned champion.

American Stolz became the youngest world single distance champion by winning the the 500m on Friday at the age of 18.

Smeding, 24, became the first British woman to win a long track speed skating medal at an international tournament when she claimed 1,000m bronze at the European Sprint Championships in January.

Source – BBC Sport



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