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Minsk-Arena, in the Belarusian capital, hosts the ISU European Speed Skating Championships

Happy sliding

Minsk-Arena, in the Belarusian capital, hosts the ISU European Speed Skating Championships.

Tatiana Mikhailova on the skating track (in the forefront)

The event has brought together the strongest athletes from 17 countries, with men performing in the 500m, 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m distances and women in the 500m, 1,500m, 3,000m and 5,000m

Three-time Olympic gold medallist, the famous 29-year-old Dutchman, Sven Kramer, earned the title of  European men’s champion for the eighth time, whilst the women’s competition was won by another skating star — three-time Olympic champion, the 28-year-old Czech, Martina Sablikova.

Fans pleased with Minsk

Belarusian athletes unfortunately didn’t manage to qualify for the final eight. Marina Zuyeva finished 14th in the 1,500m, followed by Tatiana Mikhailova. In the overall standings, they were placed 12th and 15th respectively. Meanwhile, Vitaly Mikhailov came 14th in the 1,500m, finishing in 12th place — overall.

The tournament was notable for its high standards of organisation. Minsk-Arena again saw a full-house, and thanks to the organisers of the event, everything went smoothly.

This may be the last time that the European Championship in Minsk will follow the same format. In future, the longer distances (5,000m and 10,000m) are planned to be replaced by 1,000m for women and 3,000m for men.

By Kirill Pirogov

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