Henri Lenormand rijdt landelijke KNSB-Cup shorttrack

Afgelopen 25 november vond er in Tilburg een landelijke shorttrackwedstrijd om de KSB-cup plaats. IJCE-junior D Henri Lenormand mocht daaraan meedoen. Dat was een heel bijzondere ervaring. Henri heeft er in het Engels een verslag over geschreven. Dat vind je hieronder.

This season, Henri is qualified for KNSB cup for the first time. It's also the first time he competes in a national competition. He trained hard and knows he can improve his personal best this day. Last time he attended an official competition was in February so he doesn't have any recent marks. He could not attend the first round of KNSB cup in Dordrecht, but can attend this second round in Tilburg.

There are six divisions for the KNSB cup, from A (for fastest skaters) to F. Divisions DEF are racing in the morning, and ABC in the afternoon. Henri is in division F. Skaters have to ride a 2000-meter relay first, 18 laps in total. Teams are mixed (two boys and two girls when possible) and randomly composed. Relay is perfect to complete the warm up and to race for fun with other competitors. Henri teams up with Thomas, Rick and Tirza. The team takes a good start and takes the lead. All teams remain very close to each other, but, around half of the race, one relay goes wrong, skaters don't move from the center track to the race track in the correct order and impede each other. So Henri cannot push Tirza correctly, and she falls down. The team is now behind for the remaining laps and crosses the line last. But the judges give penalties to both other teams, so Henri's team wins the race on the paper, after all.

Individual races are over 500 meters, four laps and a half. The first race is the quarter finals. Four skaters on the start line. Go to the start, ready, and ... Henri starts just before the gun shot. Henri knows there is a zero false start policy for this competition so he goes directly to the exit, but he actually has to go to the start line again, so that the judge can notify him he is out of the race. It's cruel, disappointing, but same rules applies for all. The previous race also had a skater excluded for the same reason.

The second race is the semi finals. Only three out of four skaters are on the start line. This time, Henri starts good, but he's on third lane, and other skaters also make a good start. During the first two laps, Henri feels he can make more speed than his competitors so he tries to take over in the outer lane, but eventually can't make it. Then he stays behind for remaining laps and finishes third. Tirza wins, Dautsen is second.

The last race is a ranking final. Four skaters are on the start line. This time, Henri is in first lane, and he makes a very good start, which lets him alone in front for the whole race. After two laps, he is already more than 15 meters away from his followers. But he can't keep the speed in the last lap and the followers are eventually not so far from him on the finish line. It is always good to finish a competition with a win, after previous two frustrating races. Best time of 56.130 is a bit disappointing for Henri, and final ranking is 14 out of 18. He hopes that the next KNSB cup round in Leiden, on January 20th, will go better. And he knows he has a second chance to improve his PB the next day, at Beneluxcup, still in Tilburg.