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Dutch dominate 1st day European allround speedskating champs

Verweij, Wust dominate first day of European allround speedskating champs

Dutch dominate 1st day European allround speedskating champs

CHELYABINSK, Russia (AP) -- Dutch skaters Koen Verweij and Ireen Wust dominated the first day of the European allround speedskating championships to lead their events after the first two races on Saturday.

Verweij won the men's 500 meters, and held on to the overall lead despite finishing fourth in the 5,000 for a score of 74.586.

Second was Dutch teammate Sven Kramer, who was first in the 5,000 after finishing 10th in the 500. Chasing a seventh European allround title, he goes into Sunday's races with 74.762 points. Another Dutch skater, Wouter Olde Heuvel, was third on 75.082.

In the women's competition, Wust, who is chasing a third consecutive European allround title, finished first in the 500 and second in the 3,000 for a total score of 80.488.

Right behind her was longtime rival Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic, who won the 3,000 and has an 80.931 total.

Dutch skater Linda de Vries was third on 81.300 points.

On Sunday at the Ural Lightning arena in Chelyabinsk, are the women's 1,500 and 5,000, and the men's 1,500 and 10,000.

Some members of the Dutch team, the dominant power in speedskating, last month said they were considering a boycott of the championships in protest against alleged Russian involvement in the shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines flight from Amsterdam over Ukraine last year. All of the Dutch skaters eventually opted to compete in Russia.

Updated : 2021-09-25 18:34 GMT+08:00