Exciting races at European Championships - News


On the ice of Thialf Heerenveen were held two international championships this weekend. The European Championships allround and the very first European Championships Sprint.

Barts Swings third of Europe
At the end of the European Championships allround Bart Swings looked amazed at his bronze medal. His third place was a big surprise to the 25-year old from Belgium. ,,This really came falling our of the sky", said Swings.

An understandable reaction. For Swings a fourth place seemed to be the maximum after a lesser 500 meters (15th in 37,33), two decent fifth places on the 1500 en 5000 meters and a very good 10k. Swings raced to a great 13.15,54. That time proved not only to be good for bronze on the distance, but also moved him to third spot in the classification. That with thanks to Norwegian Sverre Lunde Pedersen, who collapsed in the final four laps of the 10k.

Nico Ihle races towards European bronze
Nico Ihle gave Germany a wonderful performance in the very forst European Championships Sprint. The 31-year old German from Karl Marx Stadt raced towards a great third place in the general classification.

The road to that bronze also brought him some medals on the various distances. On the first 500 meters Ihle broke the barrier of 35 seconds with 34,95 and won bronze with that time. In the following 1000 meters he endedup fourth in 1.09,45.

With that results he set himself in good position, but Ihle made it hard on himself with a disapointing 500 meters the next day. His time of 35,51 meant an 8th place and the loss of valuable time. Ihle made up for it on the final 1000 meters. He raced towards the silver in a great 1.09,20, and with that result he also jumped to the third place in the finale classification.

Gold allrounder Henriksen on 500 meters
For Sindre Henriksen the European Championship Allround was already a success after one single distance. The Norwegian performed very well on the 500 meters. Henriksen set his time in 36,30. With that time the 24-year old was to fast for all of his opponents. Dutch Jan Blokhuijsen came close with 36,43, Denis Yuskov clocked 36,44. That way Henriksen secured a gold medal straightaway.

That wasn't the only one. He also won bronze on the 1500 meters. Henriksen surprised again with a time of 1.47,82. That was eaxactly one hundred of a second faster then Konrad Niedzwiedski.

On the longer distances, Henriksen didn't really play a role: 15th on the 5k (6.35,76) and 7th on the 10k (13.52,95).

Young Nils van der Poel strong
The young Nils van der Poel conquered some hearts in Thialf with an excellent 5k. The Swede made a good impression in the homeland of his grandparents with a great race and the 7th place. With his 6.24,57 Van der Poel was only four seconds behind number three Sverre Lunde Pedersen.

On the shorter distances Van der Poel wasn't yet able to impress. He came in 17th on the 500 meters (37,87) and 15the on the 1500 meters (1.49,83). That was not enough to participate in the final 10k, but Van der Poel proved to be Swedens best shot at the allround skating at this moment.

Viktor Half Thorup performes well
For the second time in his short career Victor Half Thorup participated in the European Allround Championships. De 22-year old from Denmark performed well. Thorup is known to be a man of the londer distances, and confirmed that status in Thialf. On the 5k the Dane raced toward a 16th place with a time of 6.36,90.With that he was part of the big group in the middle of the classification.

On the shorter distances that is at this stage a little too difficult for Thorup. He di the 500 meters in 39,06 for 22nd spot and the 1500 meters in 1.54,77 for 20th place. In the final classification he ended up at 20th place, but the experience of a big championships is more important now then a classification.

Vanessa Herzog very solid
Austrian Vanessa Herzog can look back on a very solid performance in the sprint tournament. She ended up in the history books as the number eight of the first European Sprint Championships.

Herzog, more known as Vanessa Bittner until her marriage last Sptember, was sound and solid in Thialf. The 500 meters brought her an 8th place in 38,97, followed by 38,82 on the second 500 meters for 6th place, which was her best classification on a single distance.

The 21-year old Austrian lost some time on the two 1000 meters. The first one went in 1.18,51, and that meant an 11th place. The second one was a little slower (1.19,17) but earned her a 9th place. In the final classification she ended up being 8th.

Bronze Havard Lorentzen on 1000 meters
Havard Lorentzen took home a shiny bronze medal after the European Sprint Championships. The 24-year old Havard Holmefjord Lorentzen, as his full name is, had a fine first day of the EC. He ended up 6th at the 500 meters (35,16) en was straightaway close to the top in the classification. That only got better after the 1000 meters. He raced to 1.09,23 and earned a bronze medal with that.

Day two brought Lorentzen two more 6th places. First on the 500 meters (35,38) and after that on the final 1000 meters in 1.09,77. Thanks to the third spot on the 1000 Lorentzen ended up as 5th in the final classification.

Marten Liiv can compete at high level
He is only 20 years young, but Marten Liiv has already had the opportunity to compete with the best sprinters of Europe. And the talented rider from Estonia didn't perform bad at all. He ended the tournament as number sixteen.

That classification was the exact average of his results. Liiv started the EC with a 20th place on the 500 meters (36,44), followed by a 12th spot on the first 1000 meters (1.11,14). On the second day Liiv, born in the small town of Adavere, permformed likewise. He ended 18th on the 500 meters (36,43) and 14the on the final 1000 meters in 1.11,67. More important however is the fact that Liiv had the opportunity to see what he is capable of in an international strong field, and found he can really compete at that level.

Ignat Golovatyuk meritorious
He is still very young, but Ignat Golovatyuk has talent. As a 19-year old the sprinter from Belarus had the opportunity to test himself against the best of Europe. And his performance was meditorious.

On the 500 meters he was 14th and 17th in 35,77 and 36,19. His ranks were about the same on the 1000 meters. The first went in 1.11,82, with which he earned 16th place. The second one was a little bit faster (1.11,66) and his rank was indeed a little bit higher: 13th place. In the final classification Golovatyuk ended up being number fourteen.

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