Estonian speed skater Marten Liiv came in fifth in the 1000 meters at the final ISU World Championships round in Heerenveen on Saturday.
Holding fourth place after two laps, Liiv finished the kilometer-race with a time of 1:08.92, 0.87 seconds behind first-place finisher Kai Verbij of the Netherlands. Second place in Saturday's Division A final went to Russian skater Pavel Kulizhnikov (1:08.313; +0.26), Canadian Laurent Dubreuil (1:08.569; +0.51) claimed third.
Liiv, who has enjoyed a streak of good finishes, told ERR that his fifth-place finish was as close to a perfect race that he can envision. "After the race, when I was analyzing it, many asked if I could have cut time somewhere, but I think it could have been done by 0.1 seconds, but certainly not more," Liiv said.
He said fifth place is a surprise finish and that while he was dreaming of finishing in the top 10, he focused this season on his skating and did not think much of positions and points.
While the Estonian finished 15th in Friday's 500 m final, he was left satisfied with his performance in the short distance. "I was able to do a good 100 m, which was my personal best. /.../ I was very satisfied with that contest and I am glad it came before the 1000 m. I was able to get loose and go into the 1000 m feeling good," the 24-year old said.
"The goal for this season was to achieve stability and I think we achieved that. When the coach and I entered the 'bubble' and our first competition came, the European championships, then my coach said right away that you can make mistakes, we can learn from those. That is when the mistakes came out and we were able to analyze them after. It got better with each round and I think I had my best races in the World Championships - if not for time, then for position," Liiv said.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste