Italians celebrate with Fontana and Ladies Team Relay titles

- Torino, Italy

Arianna Fontana (ITA) wins the Super Final to clinch overall title

ESTCH-Ladies1000m-Gettyimages 631757678The final day of the championships began with Arianna Fontana (ITA) leading the overall classification, however after the ladies 1000 m final, Sofia Prosvirnova (RUS) took over the lead. Prosvirnova had a strong race, winning the 1000 m final, ahead of Andrea Keszler (HUN). Ekaterina Konstantinova (RUS) earned the bronze medal in the distance. Fontana was given a penalty in the event, and dropped into second place overall heading in the 3000 m Super Final.

Entering the ladies 3000m Super Final, Prosvirnova had 60 points, 15-points ahead of second-placed ranked Fontana. Rianne de Vries (NED) was sitting in third place overall, with 36 points – although it would be difficult for her to clinch the title, she was still in contention. Both Prosvirnova and Fontana had teammates in the race to help them tactically, and there were several leader changes throughout the race. Fontana took the lead with two laps to go and crossed the finish line in first place. She finished ahead of Konstantinova (second) and Prosvirnova (third) which allowed her to leapfrog ahead of Prosvirnova, winning the title by six points. The second-place finish by Konstantinova allowed her to move into third place in the overall classification.

Semen Elistratov (RUS) clinches the overall title in the Super Final

ESTCH-Men1000m-Gettyimages 631757694In the men’s competition, championship leader Semen Elistratov (RUS) extended his lead with a third-place finish in the 1000 m final. In the final lap of the 1000 m final, Sjinkie Knegt (NED) attempted a pass on Elistratov but unfortunately the move warranted a penalty due to the impeding nature of the pass. The Liu brothers from Hungary raced extremely well in the 1000 m final, with Shaolin Sandor finishing first ahead of Shaoang.

Entering the men’s 3000 m Super Final, Elistratov held only a two-points lead over second-placed Shaolin Sandor Liu, and 11 points lead over third-placed Knegt. In the race, Sjinkie Knegt fell prior to the first intermediary points sprint when his teammate Dylan Hoogerwerf fell, which opened the door to the other skaters to increase the race pace. Although Knegt managed to rejoin the main field, he used a lot of crucial energy which he would have preferred to keep for the end. Elistratov took the lead with less than three laps to go from Shaolin Sandor Liu, and crossed the line in first place. The move was an important one and allowed Elistratov to clinch the overall

Italy (Ladies) and Netherlands (Men) clinch the relay titles

ESTCH-MenRelay-Gettyimages 631757776Italy held on to a last-minute challenge from Hungary to clinch the relay title in the ladies’ competition. A photo-finish review was required to confirm the official results to the cheer of a crowded Palavela rink. The defending relay champions, Netherlands, settled for a third-place finish. In the men’s 5000 m Relay final, Netherlands managed to retain their European championship title by edging out Russia at the finishing line. Italy finished in third place, closing out on a successful weekend for the team on home ice.

Upcoming ISU Short Track Speed Skating events include the ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Innsbruck, Austria from January 27-29, 2017, and the ISU World Cup 2015/16 series resumes in Dresden, Germany from February 5-7, 2017.

For full results of the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2017 please refer to /en/short-track-speed-skating/results/201617/isu-european-short-track-speed-skating-championships