Flash interviews of the Championships' participants
Alexey Kravtsov, President of the Russian Skating Union
It`s not a surprise that Chelyabinsk always organizes a big skating festival. When we were here for the World Cup, we had some apprehensions. As for now, the whole world enjoys coming here. Of course, in all-round competitions the Dutch are ahead of us so far and I hope that in the men`s competition our guys and the Norwegians will be able to be on par with them. We count on Denis Yuskov on his trademark distance - 1500 meters. As for 5 and 10 km, he is not ready yet. In the ladies' all-round we have every chance for the podium.
Ida Njåtun (NOR)
I am very happy to be on the podium. 500 meters is not my favorite distance, I prefer to skate longer distances. I must admit that today`s result was a real surprise for me. Let`s see how it turns out.
Martina Sábliková (CZE)
My personal record at European skating rinks is 40.28 and today I had 40.06 at 500m and took the 4th place. So I am very happy with my result and looking forward to the next races.
Yuliya Skokova (RUS)
When skating, I saw nothing at all, felt nothing, and I can’t even analyze now what I did wrong. I think my result could be better if I skated the other lane. So I am not satisfied with my result: I had better seconds at the Russian Championships. The same cannot be said about Martina Sábliková’s time – her fourth place on Chelyabinsk ice is a shocking result for everyone, as 500m is not her favorite. As for the fans’ support, it was heard very well, as I am from Ekaterinburg, and there were a lot of my friends here. Besides, Chelyabinsk is my second home.
Danil Sinitsyn (RUS)
It`s such a pleasure to skate with such support from spectators. I went to many competitions abroad and would like to say that Chelyabinsk doesn`t differ from them. I`d like to thank the ice-makers, today the ice is really great. I hope that I’ll make a habit of competing in major world championships on home ice; the main thing is for Russia to host them more often. I am not very much satisfied with my result because I lost 0.4s to my own last week’s result.
When it seemed that I slipped on the curve, there were some technical errors. I leaned backwards a bit. I think that I lost 0.2 on the curve and another tenth on the crossing. Besides, I started off a bit slow – decided to play it safe.
Sven Kramer (NED)
The ice in Chelyabinsk is generally OK, I am satisfied with it overall. As for my plans for 5000m, I will not make any guesses so far – we’ll live and see. I’ll try to do my best.
Denis Yuskov (RUS)
My opponent started off a moment earlier than myself, I saw it and it disturbed me. To be more exact, it even helped me in the opening meters, as I saw his back and tried to catch up with him, and in the crossing straight I went out of rhythm a bit, as I was looking at him and did not have a good control of the situation. For 5000m, I am paired with Chelyabinsk’s Danil Sinitsyn, but it doesn’t bother me in the least: I am used to focus on the opponent on short distances, while on longer distances I focus on the timer, so it makes absolutely no difference to me who is skating in one pair with me.
David Andersson (SWE)
I like the ice very much. First when I had training a couple days ago, it didn’t feel so fast, but then the ice felt really fast actually. It was fun, it was a good crowd, and it’s nice being in Russia.
I don’t think I will be moving up in the following races. I’ll be trying to survive the 5000. I’ll be trying to have fun as much as I can. Then the 1500m tomorrow will be nice, I think, it will be fun and I will have a fast time, I hope.
Jan Szymanski (POL)
It’s my second time in Chelyabinsk. I already came here for the World Cup in 2011. I am impressed with the amount of spectators, so I like skating here. I admit that I am not really ready for the 10000m but I will do my best. We`ll see what will come of it. As for the ice, on the whole I like it. Let`s see what it will be like on 5000m; sometimes the ice is good on short distances but the quality is worse on the long ones. Sometimes it’s vice versa.
Koen Verweij (NED)
I think it’s a really good start and the gap between the favourites is pretty big. I didn’t train a lot this summer so I need to have a big gap for long distance. I try to keep it big but we’ll see. Sven Kramer is very strong at long distances and I hope I can skate a good 1500m and go on the podium.