Dutch skater rushed to hospital with serious burns

Mark Prinsen, Sjinkie Knegt, short track speed skating
Mark Prinsen (L) and Sjinkie Knegt during a speed skating training session. 29 Sept. 2017.photo: Hank Prinsen / wikiportret.nl

Sjinkie Knegt sustained severe burns when lighting the wood stove in his home in Bantega, Friesland on Thursday. The 29-year-old short-track skater was rushed to a hospital in Groningen by ambulance, NOS reports.

The Dutch skater suffered first and second degree burns on his face, chest, legs and feet. His feet are in bad shape, but it does not seem that his muscles and nerves were affected. "He had a lot of pain, but had a good night", his mother Liesje said to Omroep Friesland. "Over six weeks we'll be able to say more about his recovery."

Knegt's clothes caught fire while he was lighting the stove. His girlfriend found him in the living room. By that time he had already put out the fire on his face and chest. "She then grabbed a pot of water and threw it over his feet to extinguish the fire. Then she called [emergency number] 112, put Sjinkie in the shower and then the trauma helicopter came", his mother said. 

National coach Jeroen Otter informed the Dutch short-track team of Knegt's injuries on Thursday, according to NU.nl. The European Championships started in Dordrecht on Friday. Knegt was already not going to participate due to another injury. The skater injured his left leg badly in an accident with a forklift truck in December. Earlier this week he said that he hopes to participate in the World Cup in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Knegt became European champion for the third time in his career last year.