Hamar, Norway

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Antoinette Rijpma-de Jong (NED) took her third consecutive European Allround title in Hamar on Sunday. Building a solid lead with distance victories in the 500m and the 1500m, the 27-year-old Dutchwoman managed to keep in touch with Marijke Groenewoud (NED) and Ragne Wiklund (NOR) in the long distances to seize the overall classification.

Wiklund edged out Groenewoud for silver, becoming the first ever Norwegian woman to win a medal at the European Allround Championships.   

Rijmpa-de Jong builds a cushion in the 1500m...

Rijpma-de Jong started the second day in pole position, with a 2.83s lead over Groenewoud and a 2.89s margin over Wiklund ahead of the 1500m.

The defending champion had promised to go flat-out in the first distance on Sunday in order to build a solid cushion over her rivals in the final event, the 5000m.

Antoinette Rijpma de Jong NED

Antoinette Rijpma-de Jong (NED) extended her overnight Allround lead with a narrow victory in the 1500m. @ISU

Starting in the final pairing versus Groenewoud, the 2019 and 2021 European Champion got out of the blocks fast, but never managed to shake off her opponent.

Heading into the final lap, Rijpma-de Jong led Groenewoud by little over half a second, but by the time they crossed the line that had been reduced to just 0.27s.

“My first lap was too slow,” Rijpma-de Jong said. “I have to skate more on the inside of the blades, but I skated too much on the outside. It was a bit too cautious.”

Despite the caution, a time of 1 minute and 55.39s handed Rijpma-de Jong her second distance victory of the tournament, after having won the 500m on Saturday. Groenewoud came second in 1:55.66, and Wiklund managed to keep overall silver in sight with 1:56.29 for third place.

...And brings home the hat-trick in the 5000m

Heading into the 5000m finale, Rijpma-de Jong was defending a 10.33s lead over Groenewoud, who in turn had a 2.30s margin over Wiklund.

“[After the 1500m I thought]: this should be enough, but you never know,” said Rijpma-de Jong. “She [Groenewoud] goes flat out and I have to keep the gap as small as possible.”

Antoinette Rijpma de Jong NED

Rijpma-de Jong kept compatriot and rival Marijke Groenewoud in her sights in the 5000m to seal a third consecutive title. @ISU

Groenewoud tried to put the pressure on Rijpma-de Jong in the last pair of the final distance but admitted to going out too hard in pursuit of glory.

“I skated to win of course. I started out fast, but that cost me towards the end,” Groenewoud confessed.

Rijpma-de Jong lost the heat to Groenewoud but stayed within the margin of error, finishing in a time of 7 minutes 5.23s to come third in the distance and, with Groenewoud finishing in 7:02.27, secure first place in the Allround Championship.

“It ended up still being quite close,” said Rijpma-de Jong. “I skated OK, but not really well. I couldn’t skate relaxed and then 12.5 laps is pretty long.

“There’s two ways to skate a 5000m. Either you’re good from the start and you’ve got the feeling, or you don’t, and then you have to fight towards the finish line.

“It’s great [to win a third consecutive European Allround title]. I had several goals for this season and this was high on my list.

“I won this title twice and to take it here in Hamar again is very special It’s a country with a tradition in Allround skating and I did not manage to take it here at a World Allround Championships twice [2017 and 2020]. They gave me a tough fight, and that makes it very special too.”

Home crowd carries Wiklund to silver

Before Rijpma-de Jong and Groenewoud took the ice in the last pair, Wiklund had to set a bar in the penultimate pair versus Robin Groot (NED).

“I was fighting for the silver. I knew that the gold was a bit too far,“ she said. “If I were to take the gold, I would have to skate almost a new personal best.

“I was thinking doing 32 highs [lap-times in the 5000m], which I managed to do for a long time, so then I just needed to see if it would be enough.”

Ragne Wiklund NOR

Spurred on by the home crown, Ragne Wiklund (NOR) won the 5000m by a huge margin to secure a historic silver medal . @ISU

Carried by the enthusiastic home crowd, Wiklund set 32-second laps until the 2600m split, after which her lap times gradually increased to 34.20s in the final lap.

Wiklund’s final time was 6 minutes and 57.19s. After she had finished, she did not dare to watch the Groenewoud and Rijpma-de Jong race which would determine the result of the 5000m as well as which colour medal she would be taking home.

“I was just looking at my coaches and my physio and see their response every time they [Groenewoud and Rijpma-de Jong] passed,” she said. “When they started to look a bit more happy I felt a bit calmer.”

Her time turned out to be enough for her second distance win after the 3000m, and the overall silver. Becoming the first Norwegian female medalist at a European Allround Championships made her proud.

“It's super fun and exciting,” Wiklund said. “Especially doing it on a home track. I'm not sure I could have done it without the audience today. They really cheered me on for the last laps, and it was very important.”

Groenewoud looks to bright future with bronze

Groenewoud had given her all in pursuit of the top prize but in the end she was happy to settle for second place in the 5000m and bronze overall.

“At the moment, this was the best result possible,” the 22-year-old Dutchwoman said. Having skated only her second Allround tournament as a senior skater [after the Dutch Allround Championships last December], she was ready for more.

Womens Allround podium Hamar

Marijke Groenewoud (NED), right, joined Wiklund and Rijpma-de Jong on the podium to take bronze in only her second Allround competition. @ISU

“It’s not bad to end up third in your second Allround tournament ever. I want to continue in Allround skating, it’s something that suits me well, and I think it will lead to something beautiful in the future.”

Format and schedule

The Sprint Championships are held on Friday and Saturday with a 500m and a 1000m for both genders on each day. The Allround Championships are scheduled on Saturday and Sunday. The men will skate the 500m and the 5000m on the first day, followed by the 1500m and the 10,000m on the second. The women face the 500m and the 3000m on Saturday, followed by the 1500m and 5000m on Sunday.

In both the Sprint and the Allround tournaments the final ranking is based on the so-called samalog score over four distances. The samalog system converts times into points, with the 500m as starting point. For a 500m race, the number of seconds counts as the number of points. For the 1000m the number of seconds is divided by two to calculate the number of points; for the 1500m it’s divided by three, for the 3000m by six, for the 5000m by ten and for the 10,000m by twenty.

For all information about the ISU European Speed Skating Championships, please visit the webpage here.

Where to watch

Viewers will be able to watch the ISU European Speed Skating Championships (local time) via their national broadcaster/channel.

For countries where there are no broadcasters, the ISU will offer a live stream on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel. You will find the full list on the Where to watch webpage here.