Nice result, but great for Dutch skaters: 11 titles, 21 medals

Bart Swings cheers after winning a mass start in Heerenveen.ANP . image

Only after twelve of the fourteen Olympic parts of the European Championship distances someone managed to beat the Dutch figure skaters. He stunned Peter Michalsky in the 500 meters with 34.60.

The Pole, still somewhat dumbfounded by his victory, made a comparison with Max Verstappen’s world title. When he won everyone was happy. This can’t be compared to Max Verstappen, but he is good when there is an unexpected winner at times.

The 27-year-old has never won an international award before. Now it was just 0.01 seconds faster than Merin Schipperkamp. Dai Dai Ntab ranked third with a time of 34.76 points.

Shortly after the Polish sprint victory, Bart Swings also showed in the mass start that there are talented skaters beyond our national borders. The Dutch collective start drivers, Jorit Bergsma and Marcel Busker, were in a poor position in the final race and were confused as the last lap bell had not been heard.

Swings was aware and knew exactly when he had to start the final race. The Belgian successfully defended his European title two years ago. He was ahead of the Swiss Livio Wenger and the Russian Ruslan Zakharov. Bergsma was sixth, and Busker eighteenth.

For example, the European Championship mileage final was given some international character. The only other part the Netherlands has not won is the women’s team sprint, which is the opening number for the European Championship. But that was because no Dutch trio had started in this non-Olympic field.

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For the rest, Holland was higher. Eleven titles with a total of 21 medals. It’s a great result, right before the Olympics. Nils van der Poel, the favorite in the 5km run, was missing. Multiple Olympic champion Martina Sablikova was unable to attend due to her injury.

Especially the contribution of the Russians was limited. The state sent a B-Squad to the running men. Top drivers who came to the Netherlands from Russia have been trapped by a number of virus infections within the team. Nemesis star Olga Fatkoelina did not work at all. Others, after preparations are disrupted, can only participate on Saturdays and Sundays.

Despite the light weight of the European titles, it gives the winners a good feeling on their way to the Beijing Olympics. This applies, among other things, to Kild Noyce, who won the 1500m race on Sunday afternoon with a time of 1.43.60, ahead of arch rival Thomas Kroll (1.43.91).

“It gives me a lot of confidence,” Noyce said. It wasn’t just about the title, but especially the time he drove. He believes that he will soon be able to extend his Olympic title in the 1500 metres. “I’m just going to set fires there and defend that golden boy.”

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