Illustration photo – Speed skater Martina Sáblíková
Heerenveen (Netherlands) – The peak of the season awaits speed skater Martina Sáblíková in Heerenveen. At the World Championships on individual tracks, he will try to expand his rich collection of medals. In Thursday's 3,000-meter race, he will be aiming for the twelfth precious metal on this track in his career, he was second at the last championship in 2021.
“I would like to be able to say that I'm back after the World Championships. I had a longer break in the summer. I'll be happy if I manage to get a solid place, but honestly, I'm not thinking about a medal,” Sáblíková told ČTK last month. She was hampered by an injury in the summer, and she was also injured in training in Calgary in December, where she cut her right leg with her skates when she fell.
However, in the first half of February at the World Cup in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, the three-time Olympic champion proved herself , that he is in good shape. She finished second in both races at 3000 meters, just not enough for the supreme Norwegian Ragne Wiklund.
“But it will be different here in Heerenveen. It will have to start faster, the speed will be different and there will be faster times, ” said Sáblíková in a recording for the media before the World Championships.
In February, the thirty-five-year-old native of Nové Město in Moravia was slowed down by illness. “Now I'm better off, even though it wasn't ideal after Tomaszów. We even had to lie in bed for two days, which didn't do much for my psyche. But I wasn't the only one. I'd say that after Tomaszów, half of the people (who started there ) she had some colds, a virus and someone with covid,” said Sáblíková.
Dutch speed skaters will have a big advantage at the championships, led by the Olympic champion from Beijing in the triple Irene Schoutenová, who did not start in Poland and trained at home . Only some of them took part in selected races in Tomaszów Mazowiecki.
“I think they made money on it,” said Sáblíková, who considers Wiklundova to be the main favorite for Thursday's race. “However, there are many favorites. All three Dutch women, three Canadian women and we will see what the Japanese women, who have been good lately, will do. It is the world championship and someone else can surprise,” added the six-time world champion at 3000 meters.