Belgian short trackers continue in US and Canada after KNSB decision
Belgian short track speed skaters Hanne and Stijn Desmet will train this summer in the United States and Canada. The duo will be joined by four other Belgian short trackers, they tell the Belgian channel Sporza.
Hanne and Stijn Desmet trained for years with the Dutch short track team. The Skating Association KNSB announced last month that this will no longer be allowed after next season. The union believes that the best foreign pilots benefit too much. This would be to the detriment of Dutch medal chances at major events such as the Olympics.
“I’m happy that there is a solution,” said Hanne Desmet, Olympic bronze medalist last year in the 1,000 meters, against Sporza. “He had been looking for some time that we couldn’t stay in the Netherlands long term, so I’m glad it’s plan B. Plus, I think it’s also positive that we’re going to try. feel good and we can focus on the Games next year. Fortunately, I already know Salt Lake City in the United States well. It also helps that my friend Joey Mantia trains there. The facilities are great. .”
Desmet finds it a pity that she has to leave Heerenveen. “I’ve been living in the Netherlands for five years now and really consider it my home there. You guys really bonded and made friends. It was like a team. Adapting is always difficult and the great distance will of course not be ideal.”
Not only are the best short trackers no longer welcome in Dutch teams from the 2024-2025 season. The same goes for long track skaters. The IKO team has already announced that it will consider legal action against the KNSB if the plan goes through.
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