FLASH INTERVIEWS OF THE CHAMPIONSHIPS' PARTICIPANTS AFTER 1500M, 5000M AND 10000M
Marina Zueva (BLR)
I like the tournament organization very much, however, I am not satisfied with my result. Even at the World Student Championships held outdoors I showed better seconds. The next European Championships will be staged in Minsk. Speed skating is also popular there, and our venue is just as good as this one. Russian fans supported me a lot; it’s the first time I see people cheer like that in speed skating.
Denis Yuskov (RUS) after 1500m
I have some energy for the last distance. I am happy to win 1500m and finally make the crowd happy. Yesterday there were a lot of them but no flowers for our skaters. My fortune paid me back – yesterday I lost 0.02s and today I won just by 0.06s. I didn`t have any tactics – just started off as fast as I could, gave my all to the distance. This first place must put me in good heart before 10000m.
Bart Swings (BEL)
I think 1500m was OK, my start was good, but in the first lap I made a mistake on a curve and lost a lot of speed. Then Yuskov caught up with me very soon. I think without this mistake I could get closer to the leaders and get on the podium.
Skating in one pair with Yuskov helped me, of course. He’s very strong. I knew he was going to have a fast time so when I was behind him I was not scared at all.
Medals are going to be difficult to get. Yuskov is 15 seconds ahead so that would be difficult so I just try to skate my own race, keep my fifth place, then we’ll see. Yuskov and Sven have to skate a bit slower than myself. I will give them a good challenge to reach my time.
Ireen Wust (NED), European Champion 2015
You can never be sure you will win. Here I had three good distances out of four, so I am very glad with the result. The most difficult one for me is 500m, as I am not a typical sprinter. My favorite distances are 3000m and 1500m.
It’s always interesting to compete with Martina, as we let each other show our best seconds, especially if we are both on a high level. If I skated the last distance with somebody else, the result would still be the same, though.
Olga Graf (RUS)
I was very disappointed after 500m but today everything was just great! It`s wonderful that people come here, shout at the top of their lungs supporting me. The total of four distances put me in the 4th place. I think it`s good. Usually all training is aimed at the World Single Distances Championships, while at the Europeans Team Russia is usually slow. This time it was different.
Sven Kramer, 2015 European Champion
Nobody has ever made seven European titles that`s very special for me. It feels really good and I am really happy about it. I expected a little better than this weekend, I was struggling with short distances especially 500m and 1500m. And the consequence was that I had to skate fast on the 10K and I had to beat Koen over 11 seconds. Before I thought it would be easier than it was. I think in global idea Chelyabinsk isn`t a really popular city but in skating history it`s a big city. It feels very good here. I think it was a very nice weekend.
You were paired up with Denis Yuskov in your last race. How was it ?
I did it pretty good, I skated this 10k. Yuskov came a little bit late, it was disappointing for me. If you came a little bit earlier maybe you could go for a win. But it was a heavy race, I didn’t train for 10k, but second place is good for now.
How fans from Russia are different from Dutch fans?
There are a lot of more women fans here so I liked it a lot. Besides, Russian women are very attractive. There is really nice atmosphere here, it’s really nice to see all the people. I think, you should build a bigger stadium here and do more competitions here, in Chelyabinsk. It’s a really good city for ice skating.
I am satisfied with my results on this Championship. This is my first silver medal on the European Championship. Unfortunately, I couldn’t perform as good as I wanted to on the 1500m distance, so I was disappointed after that. Of course, I could have fought for the gold, but I ended up with a medal anyway, which is what I came here for, so I am fully satisfied.
There were 4 distances on this Championship, which was hard for me, because I like long distances more. Two years ago I finished forth, and had to go back home without any medal. From my point of view it’s way better to at least finish third, but come home with a medal.
Martina didn’t do her best on the distance 1500 m, but she won 5000 m, so I am satisfied with her results at the Championship.
I think if she had been 7 seconds behind Ireen Wust before the 5000 m, she could have had chances to win the whole Championships.
Before these Championships, Martina had no silver medals from the European Championships. She had 4 gold and 2 bronze medals, but no silver ones. So now she has all kinds of medals.
Linda de Vries
I am happy to get the third place and I am satisfied with these Championships. It wasn’t very difficult to compete, I liked this competition. I like the people, most are from Russia, but that’s good. I also see Dutch fans. They are screaming for me.