De Jong and Verbij complete Dutch speed skating medal sweep

De Jong and Verbij complete Dutch speed skating medal sweep
By Sportsbeat

12/01/2019 at 17:28Updated

Antoinette de Jong sealed a first European Speed Skating Championship Allround title of her career by breezing to victory in Collalbo, Italy.

The Dutchwoman, who has previously claimed back-to-back bronze medals at the championships, led from the first event and never looked back to see off the challenge of triple Olympic champion Martina Sáblíková.

De Jong, a double Olympic medallist, swept to first-place finishes across the 500m, 1500m and 3000m events, only relenting on the final 5000m race by finishing second.

The 2016 World Allround bronze medallist secured her maiden European title with an overall score of 162.918 - a whole 11.46 seconds ahead of Sáblíková in silver.

Italy's Francesca Lollobrigida swept to bronze to edge 32-year-old five-time Olympic champion and reigning European winner Ireen Wüst off the podium.

Meanwhile, Kai Verbij defended his men's sprint title in style with three successive victories in the event to finish 2.67 seconds ahead of Norwegian challenger Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen.

The 24-year-old Dutchman claimed a total score of 139.085 as Norway's Henrik Fagerli Rukke took bronze.

Elsewhere, Austria's Vanessa Herzog leads the women's sprint standings after two events, holding a slim 0.16-second lead over Russia's Daria Kachanova despite finishing fifth in the first 1000m sprint.

In the men's Allround competition, Dutch skater Patrick Roest has a narrow lead at the halfway stage after consistent performances in the 500m and 5000m.

Roest came fourth in the 500m and second in the 5000m to lead compatriot Sven Kramer by 0.13 seconds and Norway's Sverre Lunde Pedersen by 0.2 seconds with the 1500m and 10,000m events to follow on Sunday.

Sportsbeat 2019