Flash interviews of the Championships' participants after 3000m and 5000m
Ireen Wüst (NED)
3000 m was very bad, I am not satisfied. I am really disappointed, I will use the energy for skating 5 km very well tomorrow. Luckily for me, it’s an all-round tournament and that’s 4 distances not only two or one. I still have a little bit of advantage on Martina and I have to skate very well 1500m and 5 km.
The secret of my speed skating is that I really like it, I love the sport and I love winning and I hate losing so maybe it’s my motivation. Every time you win, it feels like… it feels great. You know, you want to have this feeling over and over again. I think that’s something inside and I try to do my best, I love the sport – it’s really motivating. For me it was a great honor to meet Skoblikova. She’s a 6-time Olympic champion and she is the best of all.
I like the weather here, in the Netherlands the temperature is quite warm, about 5-10 degrees. Here it’s different, of course. It’s a little bit too cold to walk for an hour outside when it’s -20, it’s nice to see winter outside and it’s nice to be here.
Linda De Vries (NED)
I lost to my teammate Ireen Wüst by just 0.01s, but I`m not upset. Ireen always beats me at 3000m!
Olga Graf (RUS)
When skating, I always focus on the scoreboard and my coach`s advice, that`s why I skate 3000m with my own pace. But to skate with Martina Sábliková - it`s great, of course. The feeling of rivalry helped mea lot throughout the distance. In this season Martina has improved a lot. But it`s OK, by 2018 I am going to improve my time significantly, so we will compete in the future.
Martina Sábliková (CZE)
Olga Graf is very strong both at 3000m and 5000m. I even got a little scared in the last laps.
The ice for 3000m is very heavy, and the laps came hard to me. But so far everything turns out excellent for me here, so I like it here a lot. In Chelyabinsk I showed my third personal best on 500m. On 3000m I managed to set a track record, which speaks for itself.
Tomorrow`s heats will be more difficult for me, but I hope to keep my position on the podium. 1500m is not my favorite distance, if not my weak point. And I won`t even say anything of 5000m on this heavy ice.
If I skated with Ireen Wüst, I think, it would be very spectacular, it would be a fight till the last meters because Ireen and I have always had very similar results. Tomorrow I will skate 1500m with Ireen and, most likely, 5000m. So tomorrow we`ll see.
Denis Yuskov (RUS)
The draw put me in one pair with my teammate Danil Sinitsin, but we did not have any common tactics. The allround event is an individual one. So far I have not gained the shape I had throughout almost the entire last season.
For today’s races, I can give myself just a three on a five-point scoring system. Speaking about tomorrow, I am looking forward to 1500m first of all. At the European Championships I am giving it my all, thanks a lot to the fans for their support! When it’s hard to skate, the energy of the crowd helps a lot. I hope tomorrow I will be able to thank the spectators with a good result.
Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR)
I knew that Sven would take the lead, so all I had to do was just to hold on to him. I tried to focus on myself to get the best result possible. The ice in Uralskaya Molniya is better for short distances - you can see it for yourselves by the results. It was hard but I am satisfied with how it turned out.
Wouter olde Heuvel (NED)
The first day of the competition is always stressful. The championships is a good tournament for me, though I am not satisfied with my results: my form leaves much to be desired. Two weeks ago I felt better. But I can`t change anything; I have to work with what I have. It`s great to come back to the podium of such championships after a 3-year absence caused by a knee injury. I`d like to stay in top three by showing a good performance tomorrow at 1500m and 10000m. My goal is to get to the 2nd place in the overall standing.
I don’t know if I am planning to set any more track records. The most important thing is to win the title this weekend. Track record is really nice but it’s not my main goal. Next year is the last European Championships in this format so it will be nice if I get eight European championship titles.
I think 5000m was a good time, the first couple laps were pretty good, but the time of the last laps has gone a little up. But I think in these conditions the track record is OK. Thanks to the fans who supported me, it helps.