Laurent Dubreuil has heaped praise on Kai Verbij for his tremendous sporting act during the final of the men's 1000m.
The event is against the clock, but you are also competing on the track against another racer and the nature of the sport means the speed skaters have to change lanes on the back straight of every lap.
Verbij was making ground on Dubreuil, who went out extremely hard, but knew that priority goes to the racer crossing from out to in.
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The Dutchman calculated that had he kept at full pace he would in all probability have collided with Dubreuil.
So rather than compromise both of their chances, Verbij took the decision to ease up to avoid a collision. It compromised his own race, meaning he finished last, but it allowed Dubreuil to get his head down on the final lap and secure a silver medal.
"I can't say thank you enough to him," Dubreuil said. "It was a really professional and classy move to do. He's a friend, so when he gets over it - I'll give him some time - I'll thank him for sure.”
In such a high-stakes environment, world champion Verbij could have gambled. He chose not to, and Dubreuil feels there are others who would not have been so sporting.
“I know skaters that wouldn’t have given a c**p, would have just gone for it, and hopefully not tackled me,” Dubreuil said. “But if he went for it, he probably would have tackled me. So I owe a lot to him.”
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