Russia won the Ladies 3000m relay at the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating 2018 in Dresden, while Netherlands took the Men’s 5000m relay title.
The Russian team had to wait nervously on the judges’ verdict after a close tussle with Hungary. Sofia Prosvirnova (RUS) had been first over the finish line, but would an earlier clash between racers from the two teams count against them?
The officials decided not. Russia took gold, Hungary silver and France bronze.
“I’m so happy,” said Prosvirnova afterwards. “This race was a priority for our team and I was thinking about our girls. I was nervous about my skate edge before the race – but I calmed down and we did well.
“I thought the judges might give the penalty and we’d come second, but thank god they didn’t.”
The Men’s 5000m was equally exciting and crowned one of Sjinkie Knegt’s best weekends as a racer. Having been triumphant over 500m, 1000m and 1500m, the Netherlands star overtook Russia’s Victor An brilliantly on the final corner to add relay gold to his haul.
Russia took silver, Hungary the bronze.
“It was really cool to win here,” said the Netherlands’ Dennis Visser. “This is our last relay before the Olympics. It was a very exciting last couple of laps for us, just perfect.
“Sjinkie is in really good form. He’s won three distances this weekend and I don’t think he’s ever done that before. He will do well at the Olympics for sure.”