KOLOMNA, Russia – Sven Kramer won the men’s 500 and 5,000-metre races Saturday to take the overall lead at the European Speedskating Championships.
In the women’s events, Russia’s Yekaterina Lobysheva won the 500-metre race with a new championship record, while defending all-around champion Martina Sablikova took gold in the 3,000-metre race.
Kramer, the defending all-around European champion, finished the men’s 500-meter event in 36.20 seconds, beating Konrad Niedzwiedzki of Poland by just 0.01 seconds at Kolomna Speedskating Center track. Russia’s Yevgeny Lalenkov was third with 36.22 seconds.
Kramer set a 5,000-meter world record of 6:03.32 in Salt Lake City in November. The Dutchman timed 6:11.78 Saturday for a new championship record, beating his last year’s mark in Collalbo, Italy, by 3.8 seconds. Havard Bokko came in second, 5.67 seconds back, followed by Wouter Olde Heuvel, a further 0.24 behind for third.
“I worked really hard for this weekend,” Kramer said. “I’ve a big gap over the rest of the skaters now.”
Kramer leads the overall standings after two of four events, followed by Bokko and Heuvel.
Lobysheva beat her own championship record by clocking 39.24, bettering the old mark set in 2006 in Hamar, Norway, by 0.3 seconds.
Two Dutch skaters also made the podium, with Marrit Leenstra finishing second, 0.02 seconds back, and Paulien van Deutekom taking third, 0.16 seconds back.
Sablikova won in four minutes 1.67 seconds ahead of Olympic champion Ireen Wust who was 1.50 seconds ahead of Sablikova’s pace with one lap to go. Wust could not keep the tempo and finished 0.47 seconds back for second. Paulien van Deutekom came in third, 1.73 seconds behind.
Wust, who finished fourth in 500, leads the overall standings ahead of Van Deutekom and four-time Olympic champion Claudia Pechstein.
The tournament finishes Sunday with the men’s and women’s 1,500 races, followed by 10,000 for men and 5,000 for women.