Ter Mors and An the Short Track champions

- Dresden, Germany

Jorien Ter Mors (NED) was crowned ladies 2014 ISU European Short Track Speed Skating champion, while Victor An (RUS) took the title on the men’s side. In the team events, the relay champions were the Netherlands (ladies) and Russia (men).

The final part of the championship quest began on Sunday with the 1,000 metres events. In the ladies competition, Elise Christie (GBR) won ahead of Ter Mors. Christie led the race from start to finish, with constant pressure from Ter Mors who was right on her heels throughout the race. Third place finisher Tatiana Borodulina (RUS) was close behind throughout the final.

Entering the ladies 3,000 metres Super Final, four skaters had a chance to claim the overall title: Ter Mors (68 points), Christie (42 points), Arianna Fontana (39 points) and Borodulina (34 points). At the end of the 27 lap race, it was Ter Mors who crossed the line in first, six seconds ahead of second place finisher Christie. Defending champion Fontana finished third.

The overall classification sees Ter Mors finish top with 102 points, followed by Christie (63) and Fontana (52). This was the first individual European championship title for a Dutch female short track speed skater.

In the men’s competition, the day began with Russian team-mates An and Semen Elistratov tied at the top of the championship leaderboard. They kept it very close, with the 1,000m final an all-Russian podium: An crossed the line first, ahead of Elistratov (second) and Vladimir Grigorev (third). Yuri Confortola (Italy) was the other skater in the final but he couldn’t get past any of the Russian skaters.

As the men entered the final individual event of the weekend, An (68 points) and Elistratov (55) were the only skaters still in contention for the championship title. The men’s 3,000m Super Final saw nine skaters at the start line and the race was marked by multiple lead changes. It was so close that the first six skaters across the line were separated by only 1.2sec. The ultimate winner was An, allowing him to claim the overall championship title. A duo of Dutch skaters followed right behind him: Sjinkie Knegt (second) and Niels Kerstholt (third). Elistratov finished fifth in the race.

The final classification tally sees An on top with 102 points, making him the first male short track speed skater from Russia to win a European championship title. Elistratov ends the weekend with 60 points, while Knegt earns 44 points.

The relay finals were the last two events of the weekend, and the podium results were as follows:

Ladies’ 3,000m Relay: Netherlands (gold), Great Britain (silver), Hungary (bronze)

Men’s 5,000m Relay: Russia (gold), Netherlands (silver) and Germany (bronze)

The next two ISU events are the World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships (Erzurum, Turkey) and the World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships (Montreal, Canada). Both events are in March. In the meantime, the skaters who have qualified for the Winter Olympic Games will use the next few weeks to finalize their preparation.