Valcepina and Knegt in control ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


13 janvier 2018

Valcepina and Knegt in control

Review of Saturday’s action at the 2018 European Championships in short track speed skating.

By Carl Savard
Photos by Schaats Foto’s


This first day of the main event at the EnergieVerbund Arena in Dresden, Germany started with the semifinals of the women’s 1500m competition. It is with no surprise that Dutch stars Suzanne Schulting and Yara van Kerkhof, Italy’s Arianna Fontana and Martina Valcepina and Russia’s Ekaterina Efremenkova qualified for the A final on the distance. The surprise came from Hungary’s Sara Luca Bacskai. She did not just qualified for the main final, she even got on the podium winning the bronze medal behind Valcepina and van Kerkhof following a disqualification to Suzanne Schulting.

On the men’s side, the show came from Viktor An during the semis as with just a few laps to go he started coming back from behind until a fall stopped him in his path. While Roberto Pukitis seemed too strong for the others in the B final, the main event brought us a fight between Israeli skater Vladislav Bykanov and Dutch superstar Sjinkie Knegt. Knegt ended up winning the battle and finishing first while Russia’s Semen Elistratov used the fact that Bykanov was spending a lot of energy fighting Knegt to pass him at the end. Bykanov finished third.


Martina Valcepina finished on top for a second time Saturday beating her teammate Arianna Fontana and Russia’s Sofia Prosvirnova on 500m. Suzanne Schulting won the B final. Copy and paste on the men’s side as Sjinkie Knegt also won his second distance of the day beating Russia’s Viktor An and France’s Sébastien Lepape.

Keep an eye on An

If you are one of those fan who thought Viktor An’s career was fading due to his poor World cup results last fall, think again because he was just putting us to sleep. Based on his performances on 1500m and 500m against the top european skaters today, I’d be ready to bet that he will offer us quite a show in Pyeongchang. He could be the the story of the games.

Surprises in the women's relay event

On the relay event, it was not a surprise to see Hungary and Russia qualifying for the main event on the women’s side, but the presence of France in the big final sure is a positive outcome considering the team had a tough year and was not able to qualify for the Olympic games. The French women were able to take advantage of the Netherlands' difficulties in the last few relay exchanges combined with a really strong finish by Véronique Pierron at the end of the race to qualify for tomorrow’s big final. The German fans will have the opportunity to see their female relay team also compete in the main final as Anna Seidel and her teammates finished second following a fall from Italy’s Arianna Fontana as she was about to give the relay to her teammate Cynthia Mascitto.

On the men’s side, Russia, Italy, Hungary and the Netherlands will battle it out in the big final tomorrow. The Dutch are the only team, out of the four in the A final, who faced adversity during the semis as Sjinkie Knegt had to use his finisher’s ability to pass Frenchman Thibaut Fauconnet at the last minute.

The European championships come to an end tomorrow with the main event on 1000m, the 3000m superfinals and the relay finals.

To follow the competition
To read yesterday’s review of the competition click HERE

Don't miss tomorrow’s recap of the competition!

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