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Roest, De Jong and Krol take lead on first day European Speed Skating Championships

Roest, De Jong and Krol take lead on first day European Speed Skating Championships

Patrick Roest, Antoinette de Jong (both allround) and Thomas Krol (sprint) have started the ISU European Speed Skating Championships on a high note. The three speed skaters of Team Jumbo-Visma are all in the lead after the opening day of the tournament at Thialf, Heerenveen. Roest (5,000m) and Krol (1,000m) both managed to win a distance on the first day.

Roest showed his class by winning the men's 5,000-meter race in a championships record of 6:10.25. By doing so, the three-time world champion allround, who finished second in the 500-meter race in 36.39, will start the 1,500-meter race on Sunday with a lead of 2.5 seconds over Norwegian Sverre Lunde Pedersen. The winner of the first distance (500m) ended up in fifth place in the 5,000 meters (6:19.97).

Marcel Bosker is third in the classification after two distances, 3.08 seconds behind teammate Roest. The 23-year-old speed skater, who is skating his first ever European Speed Skating Championships, finished third in the 5,000 meters (6:15.81), after taking seventh place earlier in the day on the shortest sprint distance: 36.86.

"I started really fast and because of that I really had to fight for it in the last part of the race, but I am glad that I was able to finish on a high note", Roest said. "I will never say that a championship has already been decided after the opening day, but I am in a very good position to take the title. However, I cannot afford to make any mistakes. Tomorrow I hope to show what I have got again."

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Defending champion De Jong in the lead after two third places

In the women's category, De Jong leads the classification after the first day. The 25-year-old skater of Team Jumbo-Visma finished third on the opening day at both the 500 and 3,000 meters: 38.89 and 4:02.19. As a result, she will start the second day with a margin of 0.79 seconds on number two Irene Schouten on Sunday.

The Russian Natalia Voronina, who set the second time in the 3,000-meter race (3:58.62), has to make up 1.28 seconds on the classification leader in the 1,500m. Team Jumbo-Visma skater Joy Beune is in sixth place in the standings, at 3.17 behind teammate De Jong. Beune ended up in fifth place in the 3,000-meter race: 4:03.18.

"I am pleased with my 500m, but not so satisfied with the 3K", De Jong said. "At allround tournaments that distance always causes some troubles. I don't know why. At the moment, I am not so concerned with the lead I have in the rankings. My full focus is on tomorrow's 1,500-meter race. I hope to show nice things there and then it is all or nothing in the 5,000-meter race. It will be a great, but also tough day."

Indrukwekkende Krol razendsnel op openingsdag

After the first day, Krol holds the lead at the European sprint championship. The 28-year-old skater of Team Jumbo-Visma managed to take the lead with an impressive race in the men's first 1,000-meter race. The reigning Dutch champion at this distance won in a time of 1:07.49, a championship record. By doing so, he put his competitors way behind.

Krol, who finished fourth in the 500m with a personal best of 34.90, holds a 0.34 second lead over teammate Hein Otterspeer in the second 500-meter race on Sunday. The Dutch sprint champion skated the third fastest time in the 1000m (1:08.27), after he had finished third in the first 500m as well: 34.85.

"This was a perfect first day. It is great that I was able to show great form in both the first 500 and 1000-meter races", a very satisfied Krol said afterwards. "My personal best in the 500m was perhaps the most surprising, but I am most satisfied with my result in the 1,000m. By winning the 1,000m with this margin, I will start the second day with a nice lead."

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