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Thomas Krol has added the European title to the national and world titles he already had under his belt. On Friday, the 27-year-old speed skater of Team Jumbo-Visma sovereignly took a gold medal in the men’s 1500-meter race at Thialf, Heerenveen. Patrick Roest seized bronze.
Krol started in the ninth of ten pairings and set a time of 1:43.67, a championship record. He also skated the fourth fastest 1500-meter race ever at Thialf, but could not touch the track record of 1:43.36 set by Denis Yuskov in 2015. Yuskov ended up in second place in 1:44.80, just 0.02 ahead of bronze medal winner Roest (1:44.82).
Two years ago, Krol took silver at the first European Single Distance Championships in Kolomna (Russia), ending up behind Yuskov. Koen Verweij seized bronze in 2018.
"After winning the 1500-meter race at the World and Dutch Single Distance Championships, I am now European champion. Today I completed the sweep and I am really happy I was able to do it", Krol said. "It did not go as well as two weeks ago, but I am still really satisfied with my time and the outcome."
Krol really enjoyed skating at Thialf. "Winning a European title at Thialf is a little bit more special than taking a gold medal at the Dutch Single Distance Championships", he said. "Today, I was one of the three Dutchmen, while two weeks ago, I was just one of the twenty Dutch skaters. The fans really helped me to win this race and I am looking forward to my 1000-meter race on Sunday."
Roest was a bit disappointed to miss out on silver by only a 0.02 second margin. "It is too bad I miss out on silver by such a small margin", he said. "When you are this close, you really want to get it. The first part of my race was good, but I am not happy with my final lap. I could have skated a little bit better."
Earlier on Friday, Joy Beune ended up in seventh place in the ladies' 1500-meter race. The 20-year-old speed skater of Team Jumbo-Visma set a time of 1:56.41, while Ireen Wüst took gold in 1:54.88.
Headerfoto: Stephan Tellier