Dutch short tracker de Laat promises to pick up the pace

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-11 21:45:44|Editor: Zhou Xin
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PYEONGCHANG, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Short track speed skater Itzhak de Laat of the Netherlands was near the back of the pack in the men's 1500m final at the PyeongChang Olympics on Saturday, but he believes it is only a matter of time before he puts the pressure on his silver medal-winning teammate Sjinkie Knegt.

"Everyone's telling me, 'You're going to be the next Sjinkie'," said de Laat, who finished sixth in the 1500m final, 1.877 seconds behind gold medallist Lim Hyo-jun of South Korea and 1.807 seconds behind Knegt.

"But no, I'm going to be the first Itzhak. I have some time to go. I'm slowly getting better every year. This year is my first step close to Sjinkie. Time will tell," he said.

The 23-year-old was willing to accept that his performance on Saturday showed he is not yet a leader.

"I was a little too slow at the start and got stuck in the back," he said. "I mean, Lim set an Olympic record, so the race was really fast. The only thing I could do was follow.

"I kind of already lost at the beginning, but then I'm really happy I made the final. So I'm not complaining," he added.