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Yara van Kerkhof


SportShort Track
Born31 May 1990 in Zoetermeer 
LanguagesDutch, English
Higher educationHuman Movement Studies - De Haagse Hogeschool: Netherlands
Personal Bests
Personal Bests
  Event RecordDateLocation 
    500m 42.648 13 Nov 2016 Salt Lake City, UT  
    1000m 1:28.833 08 Oct 2017 Dordrecht  
    1500m 2:18.181 12 Nov 2016 Salt Lake City, UT  
    3000m 5:09.536 05 Jan 2014 Amsterdam  
Main Achievements
Main Achievements
Olympic Games
Olympic Games
    500m   1    
    3000m Relay     1  
World Championships
World Championships
    3000m Relay   2    
European Championships
European Championships
    1500m   1    
    3000m Relay 6 1 1  
Social Media
Social Media  
Sport Specific Information
Sport Specific Information
Reason for choosing this sportHer parents encouraged Yara and her sister Sanne to try the sport, and their hometown only had short track facilities when she first started the sport.  
Name of coachJeroen Otter [national], NED  
When and where did you begin this sport?She began skating in 2001 in Zoetermeer, Netherlands.  
General Interest
General Interest
HobbiesEating with friends, going to the cinema, reading, playing sport. (, 05 Oct 2013)  
Famous relativesHer sister Sanne represented Netherlands in short track at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. (SportsDeskOnline, 05 Feb 2015;, 05 Oct 2013)  
InjuriesShe broke her collarbone after falling off her bicycle in August 2015. She missed two weeks of training because of the injury. (, 20 Aug 2015)

A back injury affected her performances during the 2014/15 season. (, 03 Dec 2014)
Awards and honoursShe was named the 2015 Sportswoman of the Year in Zoetermeer, Netherlands. (, 31 Jul 2016)  
Most influential person in careerHer sister Sanne, coach Jeroen Otter. (, 08 Feb 2017)  
Sporting philosophy / motto"Hard work pays off, everything is possible." (, 08 Feb 2017)  
Other informationNATIONAL FIRST
At the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang she became the first Dutch woman to win an Olympic medal in short track, when she claimed silver in the 500m event. After winning the medal she said she was unsure whether she would remain in the sport for another Olympic cycle. "I do not know how long I will continue and if I will still be here at the next [Olympic] Games." (, 13 Feb 2018; SportsDeskOnline, 15 Oct 2018;, 13 Feb 2018)

She was a member of the Dutch women's 3000m relay team that won a bronze medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang despite not qualifying for the A final. Two out of four teams in the A final were disqualified, meaning the Dutch team - who won the B final in world record time - were awarded the bronze medal. (, 20 Feb 2018;, 21 Feb 2018)

In early 2018 the ISU discovered irregularities in her blood values in 2015 and 2016. She was cleared of any doping offence by the federation's disciplinary committee, which accepted that the abnormal values were the result of a congenital heart defect which caused her blood to respond exceptionally to altitude and long-haul air travel. However, in May 2018 the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS]. "When I was seven years old, I was able to overcome this heart defect with the help of open heart surgery and my heart has been functioning perfectly since then. But that my blood reacts exceptionally, and will continue to do so, has been shown with blood tests every year. Together with a team of experts, we have done everything we can to find the cause of my fluctuating blood values. The ISU was also convinced of my innocence and spoke to me freely. But WADA has decided to submit the case to the CAS. I am now [in October] still waiting for the hearing, I have no idea when it is going to be. But I'm not going to worry, the [2018/19] season is imminent and I'm going to focus on that." (, 10 Oct 2018;, 18 May 2018;, 15 May 2018)
NicknamesPitbull (, 08 Feb 2017)  
Championships results
Year Competition Event Rank  
Championships results
    2015/2016 European Championships 3000m Relay1  
    2013/2014 European Championships 3000m Relay1  
    2010/2011 European Championships 3000m Relay1  
    2011/2012 European Championships 3000m Relay1  
    2012/2013 European Championships 3000m Relay1  
    2014/2015 European Championships 3000m Relay2  
    2018 Olympic Games 500m2  
    2017/2018 European Championships 1500m2  
    2010/2011 World Championships 3000m Relay2  
    2017/2018 World Championships 3000m Relay2  
    2018 Olympic Games 3000m Relay3  
    2016/2017 European Championships 3000m Relay3  
    2016/2017 European Championships 1000m4  
    2016/2017 World Championships 3000m Relay4  
    2017/2018 European Championships Overall5  
    2013/2014 World Championships 3000m Relay5  
    2015/2016 World Championships 3000m Relay6  
    2017/2018 European Championships 3000m Relay6  
    2017/2018 European Championships 500m6  
    2012/2013 World Championships 3000m Relay6  
    2011/2012 World Championships 3000m Relay6  
    2015/2016 World Championships 1000m7  
    2013/2014 European Championships Overall8  
    2017/2018 World Championships 1500m8  
    2017/2018 World Championships 1000m8  
    2016/2017 European Championships 500m9  
    2017/2018 World Championships 500m9  
    2016/2017 European Championships 1500m10  
    2015/2016 World Championships 500m10  
    2016/2017 European Championships Overall10  
    2007/2008 World Junior Championships 2000m Relay10  
    2013/2014 World Championships 1000m11  
    2014 Olympic Games 500m11  
    2015/2016 World Championships Overall11  
    2013/2014 World Championships Overall12  
    2017/2018 World Championships Overall12  
    2016/2017 World Championships 500m12  
    2014/2015 European Championships Overall12  
    2018 Olympic Games 1000m14  
    2013/2014 World Championships 500m14  
    2013/2014 World Championships 1500m15  
    2014 Olympic Games 1500m15  
    2012/2013 World Championships 1000m15  
    2012/2013 European Championships Overall17  
    2014 Olympic Games 1000m18  
    2011/2012 European Championships Overall19  
    2014/2015 World Championships 1000m20  
    2016/2017 World Championships Overall21  
    2016/2017 World Championships 1500m25  
    2014/2015 World Championships 500m27  
    2016/2017 World Championships 1000m29  
    2014/2015 World Championships Overall30  
    2008/2009 World Junior Championships Overall34  
    2007/2008 World Junior Championships Overall35  
    2012/2013 World Championships Overall36  
World Cups
Year Competition Event Rank  
World Cups
    2017/2018 World Cup Seoul 3000m Relay1  
    2016/2017 Dresden 3000m Relay1  
    2012/2013 Dresden 3000m Relay1  
    2016/2017 Calgary, AB 3000m Relay2  
    2016/2017 Salt Lake City, UT 3000m Relay2  
    2016/2017 Gangneung 3000m Relay2  
    2016/2017 Minsk 500m3  
    2016/2017 Calgary, AB 500m3  
    2017/2018 World Cup Seoul 1000m3  
    2016/2017 Shanghai 3000m Relay3  
    2015/2016 World Cup Shanghai 3000m Relay3  
    2010/2011 World Cup Changchun 3000m Relay3  
    2011/2012 World Cup Moscow 3000m Relay3  
    2014/2015 Dresden 3000m Relay4  
    2015/2016 Dresden 500m4  
    2016/2017 Minsk 1000m4  
    2017/2018 World Cup 1000m5  
    2016/2017 Salt Lake City, UT 500m6  
    2016/2017 World Cup 500m7  
    2015/2016 Dresden 1000m8  
    2016/2017 Minsk 3000m Relay8  
    2017/2018 Shanghai 3000m Relay8  
    2010/2011 Dresden 3000m Relay8  
    2017/2018 World Cup 500m9  
    2016/2017 Calgary, AB 500m9  
    2016/2017 Gangneung 500m9  
    2014/2015 Erzurum 1000m9  
    2015/2016 World Cup 500m10  
    2016/2017 Salt Lake City, UT 1500m10  
    2016/2017 Shanghai 500m10  
    2015/2016 Dresden 3000m Relay10  
    2014/2015 Dresden 1000m10  
    2016/2017 Shanghai 500m10  
    2013/2014 World Cup 1000m11  
    2010/2011 Dresden 500m11  
    2017/2018 Shanghai 500m11  
    2013/2014 World Cup 500m14  
    2014/2015 Dresden 500m14  
    2014/2015 Erzurum 500m16  
    2017/2018 Shanghai 1000m18  
    2017/2018 Shanghai 1500m18  
    2012/2013 World Cup 500m19  
    2010/2011 Dresden 500m19  
    2012/2013 Dresden 500m19  
    2016/2017 Dresden 500m20  
    2015/2016 World Cup 1500m21  
    2015/2016 World Cup 1000m26  
    2016/2017 World Cup 1000m26  
    2017/2018 World Cup 1500m28  
    2010/2011 World Cup 500m28  
    2014/2015 World Cup 1000m28  
    2014/2015 World Cup 500m37  
    2012/2013 Dresden 1000m38  
    2016/2017 World Cup 1500m40  
    2011/2012 World Cup 500m42  
    2010/2011 World Cup 1500m49  
    2011/2012 World Cup 1000m49  
    2010/2011 World Cup 1000m58  
    2011/2012 World Cup 1500m61  
    2012/2013 World Cup 1500m67  
    2012/2013 World Cup 1000m69