BEIJING (VG) Hallgeir Engebråten (22) hit with 6: 09.88 in the men’s 5000 meters on skates. It held to bronze. No one could do anything with Nils van Der Poel (25) who set the Olympic record.
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– I’m proud of this. To be able to perform the best I have ever done in an Olympics, it means a lot, Engebråten said during the irrigation break to Discovery +.
Little did he know that it would actually stick to precious metal.
Engebråten made his Olympic debut with a raw strong 5000 meters. After 3400 meters, the Norwegian was in the lead, ahead of the legend Sven Kramer.
The Kongsvinger boy continued the impressive race into the last laps and finished strong on 6.09.88. That put him in a position to fight for medals from par three.
Later, the 22-year-old had to observe Dutchman Patrick Roest take the lead with a small half-second. Nevertheless, Engebråten was optimistic.
– It was so far. He was stick stiff at the end. For me, it was about finding a rhythm. Then I knew the speed would come. It almost went, but that’s how it is. It will be exciting to see what this entails. It can just as well be silver as a 5th place, says Engebråten to the licensee.
Sports manager skater, Petter Andersen, was very impressed and says this to VG about Hallgeir Engebråten’s race:
– This was an Olympic race, with a big O. Perfect race plan and partner. That was the maximum of what he is good at. Hope and believe it holds to the medal.
National team coach Edel Therese Høiseth is also impressed.
– It was a super race. Absolutely raw! We hope for a medal. But there are many good things after watering, says Høiseth to VG.
Beforehand, he had the 11th best pers and the 17th best season best of the 20 participants in the competition.
The Norwegian also won European Championship bronze in the same distance in Dutch Heerenveen in January. It was Norway’s very first individual medal in the EC single distances regardless of gender.