AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — In a stunning finish to the speedskating Allround World Championships, Dutchman Patrick Roest won the title Sunday after Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway fell in the closing 10,000-meter race as he was on track for a convincing overall victory.
Pedersen picked himself up off the ice at the temporary, outdoor oval at Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium and still managed to come back to beat nine-time allround champion Sven Kramer in their head-to-head battle to finish second overall.
But he lost so much time that a title that was his for the taking slipped through his fingers and went to Roest.
After the race, Pedersen sat at the side of the oval with his head in his hands as Kramer gave him a consoling pat on the back.
“I am almost never falling,” Pedersen said. “I don’t know what to say.”
In a changing of the guard, Pedersen’s fall handed the allround title to Roest, Kramer’s 22-year-old teammate and training partner.
“I can’t believe it,” Roest said. “Of course it’s a shame that Sverre fell. You wouldn’t wish that on him. But it’s very cool to be world champion allround.”
Dutchman Marcel Bosker took third place in the overall standings and Kramer finished fourth.
Calgary’s Ted-Jan Bloemen, Denny Morrison from Fort St. John, B.C., and Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu from Sherbrooke, Que, finished 16th, 17th and 18th, respectively.
In the men’s 1,500-metre race held on Sunday, Bloemen was the top Canadian with a sixth-place finish (1:51.22). Morrison was 11th (1:52.09) while Gelinas-Beaulieu was 19th (1:53.76).
No Canadian skater qualified for the 10,000-metre race, which included only the top eight skaters in the men’s overall standings following the first three individual events.
The women’s competition ended on Saturday. Ottawa’s Ivanie Blondin finished 12th overall, while Japan’s Miho Takagi was crowned world champion.
Pedersen, who won an Olympic gold medal in the team pursuit last month, appeared to have set up victory with a win in the 1,500, crossing in 1 minute, 48.33 seconds. Kramer could only manage fifth place, more than two seconds behind. That result meant that Kramer had to beat the 25-year-old Norwegian by more than 16 seconds in a head-to-head battle in the final pairing of the closing 10,000.
Roest was some eight seconds behind Pedersen ahead of the 10,000.
On Saturday, Roest won the opening 500 in 36.97 and Pedersen edged Kramer in the 5,000, winning in 6 minutes, 33.81 seconds.
“What can I say? It’s a pity for all of us that something like this happens,” Pedersen said. “But that’s how it is.”
To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the ISU World Allround Championships, the competition was held outdoors, where it has rained over the weekend, on an oval specially created for the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium.