Krol sovereignly takes gold at European Single Distance Championships

Krol sovereignly takes gold at European Single Distance Championships

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."

Bronze medal winner Roest has mixed feelings

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

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