Falko Zandstra

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Falko Zandstra
Falko Zandstra skating.JPG
Falko Zandstra
Personal information
Born (1971-12-27) 27 December 1971 (age 43)
Heerenveen, Netherlands
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 76 kg (168 lb)
Country Netherlands
Sport Speed skating
Turned pro 1990
Retired 1998

Falko Zandstra (born 27 December 1971) is a former Dutch speed skater. Because of his thin legs he was also called de Gespierde Spijker which translates to the Muscular Nail.


Zandstra was born in Heerenveen, Friesland. He was a natural talent who had his career peak at a very young age. In 1990 and 1991 he became junior world champion. In 1991 he won with a world record in the small combination. In his international debut year 1992 he became European Champion Allround and finished second in the World Allround Championships, after Roberto Sighel. In that season he also won the World Cup at the 1500 meters and a silver medal at the Winter Olympics in the 5000 meters. A year later, in 1993 he became World champion and European champion again.

From 1994 on, his career went downwards. At the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer he won the bronze medal in the 1500 meters and finished fourth in the 5000 and 10000 meters. He also won the 1500 meters World Cup again. In 1995 he finished second in the European championships. At the World championships that year, he fell during the 1500 meters when he threw his arm band (which is used to indicate in which lane a skater has started) over his own skate. Because of this he didn't qualify for the 10,000 meters.

For 49 days, from January 23 until March 13, 1993, Falko Zandstra was the leader in the Adelskalender.

After his career, Zandstra switched to marathon skating with little success and he quit skating in 1999. Today he runs his own company in roof and wall plating called Falko Dak & Wand in Heerenveen. He is married to former Dutch speed skater Ellen Linnenbank.


World records[edit]

In the course of his career, Zandstra skated nine world records, of which six were junior world records:

Event Time Date Venue
3000 m junior 4.02,10 13 March 1990 Heerenveen
Small combination junior 159.753 17 February 1991 Heerenveen
Small combination 159.753 17 February 1991 Heerenveen
3000 m junior 3.57,64 1 March 1991 Calgary
1500 m junior 1.53,26 2 March 1991 Calgary
5000 m junior 6.47,10 3 March 1991 Calgary
Small combination junior 156.059 3 March 1991 Calgary
Small combination 156.059 3 March 1991 Calgary
Big combination 156.882 23 January 1993 Heerenveen

Source: SpeedSkatingStats.com[1]

Personal records[edit]

Personal records
Men's Speed skating
Distance Time Date Location Notes
500m 37.89 Hamar
1,000m 1:13.98 Heerenveen
1,500m 1:50.90 Heerenveen
3,000m 3:57.90 Calgary
5,000m 6:39.57 Heerenveen
10,000m 13:46.96 Heerenveen

Source: www.isu.org[2]


  1. ^ "Falko Zandstra". SpeedSkatingStats.com. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Jochem Uytdehaage Personal best". www.isu.org. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
United States Bonnie Blair
Oscar Mathisen Award
Succeeded by
Norway Johann Olav Koss
Preceded by
Netherlands Bart Veldkamp
Dutch Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Netherlands Regilio Tuur
Preceded by
Netherlands Dries van Wijhe
Ard Schenk Award
1992, 1993
Succeeded by
Netherlands Rintje Ritsma