Snowboarder Niek van der Velden is forced to miss the World Cup in March. The 20-year-old Brabander sustained an injury to the right lower leg during a training in Flachauwinkl, Austria on Saturday. Because he will also miss the last two World Cups of this season, qualification for the Beijing Winter Games will come to the first World Cup competitions of the 2021-2022 season.
“Niek has suffered a tear in the syndusmosis, a bond between the shin and fibula”, says Wopke de Vegt, technical director of the Dutch ski association. “He will be out for at least four to six weeks and will miss the World Cup.” It will be held in Aspen, USA, from 10 to 16 March.
Van der Velden does not have to undergo an operation. The snowboarder from Nispen, active in the areas of slopestyle and big air, was unlucky at the Winter Games of Pyeongchang in 2018. Shortly before his competition in the slopestyle, he suffered a serious arm fracture, which resulted in a performance with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima was canceled in the stands.