February 24, 2018 / 11:58 AM / 3 months ago

Speed skating: Van der Weijden makes mass start final despite crash

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - Dutch speed skater Annouk van der Weijden made a stunning recovery to qualify for the final of the Olympic women’s mass start race at the Gangneung Oval on Saturday after Canada’s Ivanie Blondin crashed and took her down.

Feb 16, 2018; Pyeongchang, South Korea; Annouk van der Weijden (NED) competes in the 5,000m ladies speed skating event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Gangneung Ice Arena. Mandatory Credit: Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Sports

Van der Weijden managed to catch up with the pack and finish second behind the Czech Republic’s Nikola Zdrahalova, with China’s Li Dan coming third, after Blondin fell coming around a corner and took out two skaters behind her.

Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida, Li’s compatriot Guo Dan and Canadian Keri Morrison will also race in the final later on Saturday after they finished first, second and third respectively in the first semi-final.

Irene Schouten is the second Dutch skater in the final, in which 16 skaters will take to the ice simultaneously to vie for gold, while Americans Heather Bergsma and Mia Manganello also qualified.

Reporting by Simon Jennings; Editing by Clare Fallon

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