When constancy pays off: Knegt and Fontana crowned 2018 European champions ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


14 janvier 2018

When constancy pays off: Knegt and Fontana crowned 2018 European champions

It was coronation day at the EnergieVerbund Arena in Dresden, Germany in this last day of the 2018 European championships in short track speed skating.

By Carl Savard
Photos by Schaats Foto’s

Action on 1000m

After looking like they were invincible on Saturday, Italy’s Martina Valcepina and Netherlands' Sjinkie Knegt were brought back to reality in the qualifying rounds of the 1000m competition. The world of short track speed skating is always full of surprises. Valcepina finished in fourth place on her semifinal, qualifying for the B final. With a fall in the B final, Valcepina saw her lead over Arianna Fontana in the overall ranking melt, especially since Fontana finished first in the A final.

As for the Dutch star, he needed a video replay and a penalty to Hungary’s Viktor Knoch to reach the main final, but once there, he was dominant once again. While Valcepina lead diminished in the overall ranking, Knegt was able to increase it with a third win on three distances. Viktor An, second after Saturday’s competition, was not able to qualify for the main finals today on 1000m. Knegt was now untoucheable with a sixty point lead over Semen Elistratov.

3000m and final rankings

Even though it was pretty clear that some athletes would try to climb the women’s final ranking with a solid performance on the 3000m super final, all eyes were on the two Italian skaters Martina Valcepina and Arianna Fontana. Staying at the back of the pack for a good portion of the race, It became clear in the last portion of the long distance event that Fontana was stronger than her rival. In the end, Valcepina finishes seventh on 3000m while Fontana’s second place was enough to pass her teammate in the final ranking and win her seventh European championships title in ten years. With her win on 3000m, Russia’s Sofia Prosvirnova finishes in third place of these championships behind the two Italian skaters and just eight points ahead of Netherlands’ Suzanne Schulting.

On the men’s side, Sjinkie Knegt, already confirmed as European champion for the third time in his career, let Israel’s Vladislav Bykanov and Frenchmen Thibaut Fauconnet and Sébastien Lepape take care of the show on 3000m. With his win on the distance, Bykanov was able to slide between Knegt and Elistratov on the final ranking. Fauconnet and Lepape finished the competition respectively in fourth and fifth place. Viktor An, second after Saturday’s competiton, finishes these 2018 European championships in sixth place.

Next stop: #Pyeongchang2018 !

For full results click HERE
For our Friday review it’s HERE
For our Saturday review click HERE

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