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Yara van Kerkhof


SportShort Track
Born31 May 1990 in Zoetermeer 
LanguagesDutch, English
Higher educationHuman Movement Studies - The Hague University of Applied Sciences: Netherlands
OccupationAthlete, Researcher, Student
ResidenceHeerenveen, NED
Personal Bests
Personal Bests
  Event RecordDateLocation 
    500m 42.530 09 Apr 2022 Montreal  
    1000m 1:28.101 10 Nov 2018 Salt Lake City, UT  
    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   1  
World Championships
World Championships
    500m     1  
    3000m Relay 3 2 1  
European Championships
European Championships
    1500m   1    
    2000m Relay 1      
    3000m Relay 10 1 1  
Sport Specific Information
Sport Specific Information
Name of coachNiels Kerstholt [national], NED  
When and where did you begin this sport?She began skating at age seven. She took up short track at age 10 in Zoetermeer, Netherlands.  
General Interest
General Interest
HobbiesSkiing. (, 28 Jan 2021)  
Famous relativesHer sister Sanne represented the Netherlands in short track at the Olympic Winter Games in 2010 and 2014. (SportsDeskOnline, 23 Dec 2020;, 05 Oct 2013)  
Sport Specific Information
Sport Specific Information
Reason for choosing this sport"I learned so I could skate with my sister and my parents on the frozen lakes and canals in the winter. My sister did short track and I loved it so I wanted to do that too."  
Social Media
Social Media  
General Interest
General Interest
NicknamesUkkie, Kleintje, Pitbull [from her coach]. (Athlete, 13 Nov 2018)  
InjuriesShe broke two ribs in 2021. (, 28 May 2021)

She broke her collarbone after falling off her bicycle in August 2015. She missed two weeks of training because of the injury and it took her two months to fully recover. (Athlete, 13 Nov 2018;, 20 Aug 2015)

A back injury affected her performances and kept her out of action for three months during the 2014/15 season. (Athlete, 13 Nov 2018;, 03 Dec 2014)

In 2010 she sustained a compression fracture to her back. She experienced pain for three months but continued to skate. (Athlete, 13 Nov 2018)
Awards and honoursIn 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019 she was named Sportswoman of the Year in Zoetermeer, Netherlands. (, 31 May 2020;, 05 Jul 2019;, 31 Jul 2016)  
Most influential person in careerHer sister Sanne, and coach Jeroen Otter. (, 08 Feb 2017)  
Sporting philosophy / motto"Enjoy your sport and everything you do. Be persistent and never give up. You can achieve anything in your life if you just believe in it, are willing to work hard for it and never give up." (, 28 Jan 2021)  
Other informationHEART CONDITION
She was born with a congenital heart condition, which was not discovered until she was age three. "When I was about three years old, my parents noticed that I was tired quickly and had less energy than other children. My mother took me to the doctor, but nothing was found. Yet she felt very strongly that something was wrong, she then insisted on further investigation. I turned out to have a hole in my heart, between the atria, a so-called atrial septal defect [ASD]. Through the hole blood flows from the left to the right atrium, this gives extra burden for the heart and lungs. The right side of the heart in particular has to work harder and therefore becomes larger. This explained why I was tired so quickly and had little energy. However, nothing was done about it in the first few years. The day after my seventh birthday I had an open heart operation." (, 28 Jul 2019;, 25 Apr 2019;, 01 Apr 2019)

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 a world record time, were awarded the bronze medal. (, 21 Feb 2018;, 20 Feb 2018)

She has studied for a master's degree in human movement studies at Vrije University Amsterdam in the Netherlands. (, 28 Jan 2021)
Sport Specific Information
Sport Specific Information
Club / TeamIJsvereniging Zoetermeer [YVZ]: Netherlands  
General Interest
General Interest
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs"I love routines. So I always do the same warm up, go to the same spot in the dressing room and use the same heatbox." (Athlete, 13 Nov 2018)  
MilestonesAt the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang she became the first female short track skater representing the Netherlands to win an Olympic medal by claiming silver in the 500m. (SportsDeskOnline, 15 Oct 2018;, 13 Feb 2018)  
Championships results
Year Competition Event Rank  
Championships results
    2022 Olympic Games 3000m Relay1  
    2015/2016 European Championships 3000m Relay1  
    2018/2019 European Championships 3000m Relay1  
    2023/2024 European Championships 3000m Relay1  
    2022/2023 European Championships 3000m Relay1  
    2022/2023 World Championships 3000m Relay1  
    2023/2024 European Championships 2000m Relay1  
    2023/2024 World 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  
    2020/2021 World Championships 3000m Relay1  
    2019/2020 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  
    2021/2022 World Championships 500m3  
    2021/2022 World Championships 3000m Relay3  
    2016/2017 European Championships 3000m Relay3  
    2016/2017 European Championships 1000m4  
    2016/2017 World Championships 3000m Relay4  
    2018/2019 World Championships 3000m Relay4  
    2017/2018 European Championships Overall5  
    2013/2014 World Championships 3000m Relay5  
    2021/2022 World Championships Overall6  
    2015/2016 World Championships 3000m Relay6  
    2023/2024 European Championships 500m6  
    2017/2018 European Championships 3000m Relay6  
    2017/2018 European Championships 500m6  
    2019/2020 European Championships 500m6  
    2012/2013 World Championships 3000m Relay6  
    2011/2012 World Championships 3000m Relay6  
    2015/2016 World Championships 1000m7  
    2022/2023 European Championships 500m8  
    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  
    2018/2019 European Championships 1000m9  
    2018/2019 European Championships 500m9  
    2021/2022 World Championships 1000m9  
    2018/2019 European Championships 1500m9  
    2016/2017 European Championships 1500m10  
    2015/2016 World Championships 500m10  
    2016/2017 European Championships Overall10  
    2007/2008 World Junior Championships 2000m Relay10  
    2023/2024 European Championships 1500m11  
    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  
    2019/2020 European Championships Overall12  
    2014/2015 European Championships Overall12  
    2018 Olympic Games 1000m14  
    2013/2014 World Championships 500m14  
    2013/2014 World Championships 1500m15  
    2014 Olympic Games 1500m15  
    2021/2022 World Championships 1500m15  
    2012/2013 World Championships 1000m15  
    2018/2019 European Championships Overall16  
    2019/2020 European Championships 1000m16  
    2012/2013 European Championships Overall17  
    2014 Olympic Games 1000m18  
    2019/2020 European Championships 1500m18  
    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  
    2023/2024 World Championships 1500m38  
World Cups
Year Competition Event Rank  
World Cups
    2018/2019 Almaty 3000m Relay1  
    2022/2023 Dresden 3000m Relay1  
    2022/2023 Montreal, QC 3000m Relay1  
    2022/2023 Almaty 500m1  
    2018/2019 Turin 3000m Relay1  
    2023/2024 Seoul 3000m Relay1  
    2017/2018 Seoul 3000m Relay1  
    2023/2024 Dresden 3000m Relay1  
    2016/2017 Dresden 3000m Relay1  
    2023/2024 Gdansk 3000m Relay1  
    2023/2024 Montreal, QC 3000m Relay1  
    2023/2024 Beijing 3000m Relay1  
    2019/2020 Dordrecht 3000m Relay1  
    2021/2022 Dordrecht 3000m Relay1  
    2021/2022 Nagoya 3000m Relay1  
    2019/2020 Dresden 3000m Relay1  
    2021/2022 Debrecen 3000m Relay1  
    2012/2013 Dresden 3000m Relay1  
    2018/2019 Dresden 3000m Relay2  
    2021/2022 Beijing 3000m Relay2  
    2016/2017 Calgary, AB 3000m Relay2  
    2016/2017 Salt Lake City, UT 3000m Relay2  
    2016/2017 Gangneung 3000m Relay2  
    2022/2023 Almaty 3000m Relay2  
    2019/2020 Salt Lake City, UT 500m2  
    2018/2019 Calgary, AB 500m2  
    2019/2020 Dordrecht 500m2  
    2019/2020 Shanghai 500m2  
    2019/2020 Shanghai 3000m Relay2  
    2019/2020 World Cup Classification 500m3  
    2016/2017 Calgary, AB 500m3  
    2016/2017 Minsk 500m3  
    2017/2018 Seoul 1000m3  
    2022/2023 Almaty 500m3  
    2023/2024 Montreal, QC 3000m Relay3  
    2016/2017 Shanghai 3000m Relay3  
    2015/2016 Shanghai 3000m Relay3  
    2010/2011 Changchun 3000m Relay3  
    2011/2012 Moscow 3000m Relay3  
    2018/2019 World Cup Classification 500m4  
    2022/2023 Salt Lake City, UT 3000m Relay4  
    2022/2023 Almaty 500m4  
    2014/2015 Dresden 3000m Relay4  
    2018/2019 Salt Lake City, UT 3000m Relay4  
    2018/2019 Calgary, AB 3000m Relay4  
    2023/2024 Gdansk 500m4  
    2019/2020 Salt Lake City, UT 3000m Relay4  
    2015/2016 Dresden 500m4  
    2016/2017 Minsk 1000m4  
    2017/2018 World Cup Classification 1000m5  
    2022/2023 World Cup Classification 500m5  
    2018/2019 Almaty 500m5  
    2018/2019 Salt Lake City, UT 500m5  
    2018/2019 Salt Lake City, UT 1000m5  
    2019/2020 Shanghai 500m5  
    2022/2023 Almaty 3000m Relay6  
    2022/2023 Almaty 2000m Relay6  
    2022/2023 Almaty 1500m6  
    2022/2023 Salt Lake City, UT 500m6  
    2016/2017 Salt Lake City, UT 500m6  
    2016/2017 World Cup Classification 500m7  
    2015/2016 Dresden 1000m8  
    2016/2017 Minsk 3000m Relay8  
    2017/2018 Shanghai 3000m Relay8  
    2019/2020 Salt Lake City, UT 500m8  
    2010/2011 Dresden 3000m Relay8  
    2017/2018 World Cup Classification 500m9  
    2016/2017 Calgary, AB 500m9  
    2016/2017 Gangneung 500m9  
    2014/2015 Erzurum 1000m9  
    2023/2024 Gdansk 500m9  
    2015/2016 World Cup Classification 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  
    2019/2020 Dresden 500m10  
    2013/2014 World Cup Classification 1000m11  
    2010/2011 Dresden 500m11  
    2022/2023 Salt Lake City, UT 1000m11  
    2017/2018 Shanghai 500m11  
    2022/2023 World Cup Classification Overall12  
    2022/2023 Dresden 500m12  
    2018/2019 Almaty 2000m Relay12  
    2018/2019 Dresden 500m13  
    2019/2020 Dresden 1500m13  
    2023/2024 World Cup Classification 500m14  
    2013/2014 World Cup Classification 500m14  
    2014/2015 Dresden 500m14  
    2023/2024 Dresden 1000m15  
    2014/2015 Erzurum 500m16  
    2018/2019 Almaty 1500m16  
    2017/2018 Shanghai 1000m18  
    2022/2023 Dresden 1500m18  
    2017/2018 Shanghai 1500m18  
    2012/2013 World Cup Classification 500m19  
    2010/2011 Dresden 500m19  
    2012/2013 Dresden 500m19  
    2016/2017 Dresden 500m20  
    2018/2019 Calgary, AB 1000m20  
    2022/2023 World Cup Classification 1000m21  
    2015/2016 World Cup Classification 1500m21  
    2021/2022 World Cup Classification 500m24  
    2022/2023 World Cup Classification 1500m24  
    2018/2019 World Cup Classification 1000m25  
    2023/2024 Dresden 1500m25  
    2015/2016 World Cup Classification 1000m26  
    2016/2017 World Cup Classification 1000m26  
    2017/2018 World Cup Classification 1500m28  
    2010/2011 World Cup Classification 500m28  
    2014/2015 World Cup Classification 1000m28  
    2023/2024 World Cup Classification Overall29  
    2023/2024 World Cup Classification 1500m35  
    2023/2024 World Cup Classification 1000m36  
    2021/2022 World Cup Classification 1000m37  
    2014/2015 World Cup Classification 500m37  
    2012/2013 Dresden 1000m38  
    2016/2017 World Cup Classification 1500m40  
    2011/2012 World Cup Classification 500m42  
    2019/2020 World Cup Classification 1500m42  
    2018/2019 World Cup Classification 1500m47  
    2010/2011 World Cup Classification 1500m49  
    2011/2012 World Cup Classification 1000m49  
    2010/2011 World Cup Classification 1000m58  
    2011/2012 World Cup Classification 1500m61  
    2012/2013 World Cup Classification 1500m67  
    2012/2013 World Cup Classification 1000m69  
    2019/2020 World Cup Classification 1000m91