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Kjeld Nuis: Dutch speed skater claims second Olympic gold in 1000m event

Netherlands' Nuis claims Olympic speed skating double

23/02/2018 at 11:40Updated 23/02/2018 at 13:30

Dutch speed skater Kjeld Nuis claimed his second Olympic title by four one hundredths of a second in the final 1000m heat in PyeongChang.

The 28 year-old crossed the line in a time of 1:07.95 to edge Norway's Havard Lorentzen into the silver spot on the podium and therefore added to the 1500m Olympic title he won on Tuesday.

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Korea's Kim Tae Yun did just enough to claim bronze with a time of 1:08.22.

It was a nervous start for the reigning double world champion in the 1000m and 1500m events as he lined up on the inside lane against Finland's Mika Poutala, only to false start.

Lorentzen, who won the Olympic 500m title in PyeongChang, watched on anxiously as he hoped his time of 1:07.99 was enough for him to be crowned a double Olympic champion.

However, Nuis produced a blistering home straight and dipped to the line as he snatched the gold from the Norwegian. Once his achievement was realised on the official clock, Nuis roared and pumped his fists as his four years of Olympic hurt were over.

Psychological battle key to PyeongChang success

Four years ago, Nuis was not selected for the Sochi Games as he finished in fourth and tenth place in his respective 1000m and 1500m at the 2013 World Championships.

During that time period, Nuis says he would become stressed easily by small factors such as ice makers coming on before the start of a race.

"I could then become stressed and feel that everything wasn't optimal," said Nuis.

But since hiring the help of a sports psychologist, he says he has performed to the best of his ability by using stress-reducing techniques such as counting heartbeats, slow breathing and writing.

He said: "I am convinced that it works for me."

And without a doubt in his mind during PyeongChang, his mental techniques have indeed worked as he becomes the first reigning world champion to win an Olympic gold medal in the 1000m distance.

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