Figure fighter Lindsay van Zundert failed to qualify for the freestyle at the European Championships in Tallinn. She finished 27th in the short freestyle, where the best 24 skaters qualified for the freestyle.

Van Zundert will make his debut at the Winter Olympics in three weeks and will also carry the Dutch flag at the opening ceremony, along with Kjeld Nuis. The 16-year-old from Brabant was recently in the spotlight and perhaps that is why he did not ride a flawless freestyle.

“I just wanted to perform better, but it didn’t work out,” said an emotional Van Zundert afterwards. “My head was really full.”

Van Zundert, who finished sixteenth at the World Cup last year, started well, but gradually her exercise became more sloppy. She then also crashed while performing the triple Rittberger.

Van Zundert shook his head off the ice and received 48.92 points. That is nine points less than her personal best and best score of the season.

‘My head exploded’

“It was really a lot,” said Van Zundert about all the attention recently. “All those media and TV broadcasts and everyone who comes at you. It is of course very nice and sweet of the people, but my head exploded. And at such an important moment you have to have your head.”

“You always notice pressure. Nine times out of ten I can deal with that quite well and I can convert that into performance,” continued Van Zundert. “But somehow this match didn’t work out. And I’m really disappointed about that.”

Van Zundert’s focus is now on Beijing, where the Winter Games start in three weeks and in which she is the first Dutch figure skater to participate since 1976. “I am now going to train for the Games and try to put down my best freestyle there.”

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