Russia and the Netherlands maintain strangehold at European Speed Skating Championships
Russia and the Netherlands continued to dominate at the European Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen with two golds apiece on day two.
After the countries shared four gold medals on the opening day of the competition, the trend continued on Saturday as Russia won both the men's and women's 500m events while the hosts claimed victories in the women's 3000m and men's 5000m.
Pavel Kulizhnikov took victory in the men's 500m in a time of 34.38 seconds ahead of Dutchman Dai Dai Ntab in 34.47s and fellow Russian Ruslan Murashov in 34.59s.
In the women's 500m it was Olga Fatkulina who edged defending champion Vanessa Herzog into silver in a time of 37.40s – Herzog finishing in 37.49s – with Angelina Golikova claiming bronze with 37.50s.
The home fans had a lot to cheer too as Esmee Visser retained her European 3000m title in a championship record time of 3:59.15 minutes – finishing ahead of Natalya Voronina in 4:01.660m and Francesca Lollobrigida in 4:01.663m.
Meanwhile, Dutch compatriot Patrick Roest won the men's 5000m in a track record time of 6:08.92 ms ahead of teammate Sven Kramer in 6:10.76m and Russia's Denis Yuskov with 6:12.26m.