The 500 meters for men at the World Cup in Thialf resulted in a number of remarkable falls on Saturday.

Kai Verbij, world record holder Pavel Kulizhnikov and the German Joel Dufter all crashed in an unorthodox way and afterwards it was not the first time over the ice in Heerenveen.

"It is super-fast ice that breaks quickly. If you take a wrong turn in terms of timing, it will break and you will fall. It is dangerous ice, as we sometimes say. But we have to deal with it," said winner Dai Dai N'tab afterwards against the

NOS

.

Verbij also fell a week ago at the European Championship sprint in Heerenveen.

At the World Cup he crashed in almost the same place - at the end of the first corner - as world record holder Kulizhnikov a stage earlier.

Dufter fell on the straight.

"The ice is quite fast and breaks very badly. If you lose control at such a speed, then you are lying. It could be due to the ice, although the number of falls today was not too bad. It could also be me", Verbij was a little less firm than N'tab.

“There have been times when I didn't fall for years and now it happens twice in a row. That can happen.

The fall of Kai Verbij on the 500 meters.

The fall of Kai Verbij on the 500 meters.

Photo: Pro Shots

Ice quality has often been a topic of discussion

The ice quality in the Heerenveen hall has already been much discussed.

In recent months, Sven Kramer in particular has been very critical of the ice floor a few times, which is different than before, partly due to financial problems.

Due to the corona pandemic, Thialf had to make up for it and saw the well-known ice master Beert Boomsma leave in October after twenty years.

At the beginning of December, many top skaters expressed their concerns about the ice, although they also reported improvement afterwards.

The first World Cup weekend of the season will be concluded on Sunday with, among other things, the second round of the 500 meters.

Both men and women will also ride 1,000 meters and there is a 3,000 meter for women and a 5,000 meter for men on the program.

See also: N'tab wins bizarre 500 meters at the World Cup in Thialf, Krol rules at 1,500 meters