2014 Speed Skating European Championships: Medals Recap
General medal ranking (track and road)
1st: Italy dominates the European scene
At the general ranking, adding both track and road results, Italy is at the top of the European nations with a comfortable lead.
The Squadra Azzurra was particularly performant on track where they got 12 titles and 33 medals out of 90 available, that is to say more than a third! Italy could count on several generations of skillful male and female skaters.
Italy was stronger in the Women's category. Currently, Francesca Lollobrigida remains without question the best European skater. She won several titles on track and gets a nice 2nd place at the marathon.
Erika Zanetti, Linda Rossi but also Giulia Bongiorno shone too during that 2014 edition. The Italian relay finished 3rd on road.
The men's sprint was a bit more in the background, with the Senior Men in the mid-table on track. Lorenzo Cassioli (7th) wasn't incisive enough on the 1000 m either.
With several 2nd and 3rd places, Fabio Francolini remains a performant skater on distance races, even if he's lost a little of his former splendor.
The formidable Italian succession
Italy did great feats in the Junior A Men's category. Let's note the full Italian podium with Daniel Niero, Stefano Mareschi and Alessio Paciolla for the 10 km point and elimination race. Mareshi and Niero also distinguished themselves at the 20 km elimination road race, getting the silver and the bronze. Let's not forget the second Italian hat-trick with Giuseppe Cistola, Stefano Marschi and Daniel Niero taking hold of the podium of the 15 km elimination race! Marschi is a skaters to be closely looked after this season, even if he still runs in the shadow of the uncontainable Simon Albrecht (Germany). The Juniors took the first place of the relay races on both track and road.
In the Junior A Women's, Daria Tiberto got the title of the 200 m road race. In that same category, Italy also got the silver at the road relay race.
The Junior B Women were not to be taken lightly either. Giorgia Bormida, Carlotta Camarin and Giulia Bonechi managed a hat-trick on the 300 m race against the clock. And they renewed the feat for the 500 m sprint! Bormida and Camarin also won the double during the 200 m road race. On the 5 km point race on track, Linda Rossi finished 1st and Martina Zanini 3rd. At the 10 km elimination race, they got the two first places, Zanini in front. Linda Rossi also got the title at the 15 km elimination race. Just like in the Junior A men's category, the Italian Junior B women seized the two titles in relay, on road and track.
As for the Junior B Men's, Italy relied on Marco De Flaviis, the winner of the 300 m track, 200 m road and 500 m road races. His team mates Alberto Petrin and Nicolo Greguoldo finished 4th and 5th. The latter won the 1000 m tournament. Alberto Petrin could complete his title list with a bronze medal at the 200 m road race.
Italians and track, a real love story!
2nd: France is back with panache
Will the phoenix rise from its ashes?
After an underwhelming 2013 European Championship in Almere, the French were back in style for the Geisingen European Championships. Let's just hope that they don't reach their top form too soon, because this year the Worlds will take place in Argentina, two months later than usual!
At the general ranking, the French are 2nd behind Italy with 15 titles and 41 medals!
Track sprint was not the strongest point of the French Senior Women, no competitor having entered the 300 m and the 500 m races. The women managed to get the silver at the road relay race with Clémence Halbout, Justine Halbout and Juliette Pouydebat.
On the other hand, in the Senior Men's, the French did a great feat in seizing the title with Darren De Souza and the bronze with Nicolas Pelloquin, in front of a handful of big names such as Ronald Mulder (Netherlands), and Andrea Angeletti (Italy). As for Gwendal Le Pivert, he got the title at the 500 m on track and the 2nd place on road. For the 1000 m, the French finished 3rd with Gwendal Le Pivert and 4th with Alexis Contin. On the 20 km elimination race, Ewen Fernandez took the bronze, just like for the 10 km point race.
At the marathon, Guillaume de Mallevoué showed how much of a long distance specialist he is. After his victory at the World Cup of Dijon, the skater from Bordeaux confirmed with the silver at the European Championships.
The point and elimination race enabled France to add a bronze medal to their list with Clémence Halbout in the Senior Women's category. Alexis Contin got the title in front of two Italians, Fabio Francolini and Lozenzo Cassioli, on the 15 km elimination race - a great return to form after a season tarnished by his illness during the Olympics.
The Junior A Women could count on Deborah Marchand, who was on top for long distance. Anaïs Laurent and Maëlann Le Roux did great feats in sprint (3rd and 4th of the 500 m). The French also won the European title of road relay in front of Italy and Spain.
On the Junior A Men's side, Benjamin Soulet did noteworthy beginnings, with a 2nd place at the 500 m on track and two 3rd places, at the 300 m track and 200 m road - an impressive feat in front of unreachable Simon Albrecht who broke a new world record on that distance. Raphaël Planelles also got the continental title twice in winning the 500 m road and the 20 km elimination race on road. As for Quentin Giraudeau, he got the title on the 10 km point race, in front of Marschi and another French, Thimothy Loubineaud (3rd).
What a demonstration in the Junior B Men's category! Flavien Foucher got the gold at the 5000 m point race while Martin Ferrié secured the bronze. Martin Ferrié also got the title at the 15 km elimination road race in front of Doucelin Pédicone, 2nd. Martin Ferrié (again) and Flavien Voucher also finished 3rd and 4th of the 10 km elimination race, in the middle of the Italian armada. As for Valentin Thiébault, he adds a bronze medal to the French medals list with the 500 m road. Thomas Dambrun also got the bronze at the 300 m. Doucelin Pédicone became the European champion of the 10 km point race on road while Martin Ferrié ended up 3rd. Last but not least, the Junior B men stood on the highest step of the podium for both relay races, road and track.
As for the Junior B Women, Mounya Talloussi was crowed champion of the 10 km point road arc, finishing in front of above mentioned Linda Rossi (Italy) and Dutch Berber Vonk. The Junior B women also took the 2nd place at the road relay.
The other nations are neck and neck
3rd: Belgium relies on Bart Swings
Bart Swings remains Bart Swings! Even if he was discreet on track, Powerslide's skillful Belgium skater seized the Senior Men's title at the 20 km elimination road race in front of Italian Francolini and French Fernandez. The Belgians also won the road relay in front of the Dutch and the Italians.
In the Junior A Women's, Sandrine Tas proved to be the fastest at the 500 m road in front of Vanessa Bittner (Austria). She also won the 20 km elimination road race and finished 2nd of the point race on road. Stien Vanhoutte did good performances throughout the championships, getting the bronze at the 200 m road race.
As for Ellen Van de Catsye, she managed the great feat of winning the marathon at the sprint, in front of French Gwladys Brunelière and of her team mate Sandrine Tas.
The Belgians won the track relay race too.
Neils Provoost always ended up in good position. Last but not least, let's not the great performance of Yannis Vandebeeck, 2nd of the 500 m road race in the Junior A Men's... in front of Simon Albrecht!
4th: Germany has some serious assets
Germany goes on its way up the European scene! In the Senior Women's category, Laethisia Schimek proved to be pretty winged at the sprint, being neck and neck with Italians such as Erika Zaneti and Giulia Bongiorno. She also shared the runner-up places with Alisa Gutermuth, who was faster in the 500 m road race.
Experienced skaters such as Sabine Berg (2nd of the 20 km elimination road race) were undeniable assets. Mareike Thum also knew how to make the difference on distance races (3rd at the 10 km point race on road). At the marathon, Katharina Rumpus ranked high, as usual, in getting the bronze.
Another title: the Senior Women won the relay races on track and road.
In the Senior Men's category, Felix Rijhnen seized the European title of marathon after a breakaway. A great feat for the Powerslide skater who often stands on the runner-up steps. Mathias Schwierz managed to reach the podium a few times (3rd at the 200 m road race). Germany got the 2rd place at the road relay.
In Junior A Women, Jenny Peissker finished 3rd of the 500 m road race. In Junior B Women, Elizabeth Baier got the bronze at the 200 m road race. As for Rinja Binus, she finished at the 2nd place of the 15 km elimination road race. The three of them also took the bronze at the track relay race.
But the one everybody has in mind, the athlete who marked these European Championships with his performances, is Junior A Men's Simon Albrecht, the medal getter and the record breaker! "Boom Boom" broke two senior world records during the event. Hats off!
In the Junior B Men's category, Tim Siegel reached the second step of the podium of the 200 m against the clock and of the 500 m road.
The Spanish were never far behind. With 4 titles, they are part of the nations to be delt with caution. Let's remind the feats of the king of sprint, Ioseba Fernandez, winner of the 200 m road race in the Senior Men's category, as well as those of Paxti Peula Cabello, the winner of the 10 km point race on road.
Sheila Posada (Senior Women's), Saray Narváez, but also Nerea Nuño (Senior Women's) and Izakun Barba (Junior A Women's) often finished 4th. The Senior Women got the bronze at the track relay race.
The Junior A Women also took the bronze at the road relay, and the silver on track.
In the Junior B Women's category, Ana Humanes insinuated herself between two Italians to get the silver at the 500 m sprint. The Junior B women took the bronze at the track relay.
6th: the Netherlands
After a home roundup in 2013, a lot was expected from the Dutch in Germany. Even if they didn't get that many titles, they remain in good position at the European ranking with 17 medals and 2 titles. Manon Kamminga (Senior Women's) didn't renew the feat of 7 medals but remained a serious opponent (winner of the marathon, 2nd at the 10 km point race on road). Irene Schouten proved to be a high-class team mate. The Senior Women got the silver for the track relay.
In the Senior Men's, the Mulder brothers always ended up at the top of the ranking, especially on road with Ronald getting the silver at the 200 m and Michel the bronze at the 500 m. They got the 3rd place at the track relay race.
The Junior A Men managed to get the bronze at the road relay and the 4th place on track.
As for the Junior B Men, Chris Huizinga got the bronze at the 15 km elimination road race and the silver for the 10 km point race. They finished 2nd of the track relay.
Men - Road / Men - Track
General ranking - Road
Women - Road
Men - Road
General ranking - Track
Women - Track
Men - Track
Translation: Chloe Seyres