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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."
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."
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."