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22 March 2018 | in FISU World University Championships, Speed Skating

Italy, Poland, Russia dominant during day 1 of WUC Speed Skating

On a day characterized as both dangerous and spectacular, Russia takes gold in both the Men’s and Women’s Team Sprints with Poland and Italy striking gold in the distance events


MINSK – Speed Skating action for the discipline’s fourth consecutive time on the FISU World University Championship calendar heated up the ice with spectacular and even at times moments of danger on the Belarusian capital’s indoor ice oval during day one of the four-day event.  


“I am so happy to be a part of championship, competitor Magdalena Czysczon said. “This championship is organized at the highest level. Let’s see what happens next, because this is just the beginning.”


WUC Speed Skating couldn’t have started any better for Ms. Czysczon as the Polish speed skater began day one by striking gold first in the Women’s 3,000 M with her time of 4:21.1. Finishing just 4/10ths of a second behind was Paulien Verhaar (4:22.53) picking up silver for the speed skating mad country of Holland, with Elena Eranina (4:25.5) of Russia taking the bronze.

Even after the first days, Minsk is already leaving an indelible mark on their international athletes. “Belarus is famous for hospitality and cordiality, so I would like to go back again,” Ms. Czysczon added.


Continuing on the long distance them in Long Track Speed Skating, the men took to the oval ice for the 5,000 M as 19 sportsmen from 10 countries contested the event. Italian speed skater Davide Ghiotto took Universiade gold to go alongside a growing sporting palmares this past month that includes competing at both the ISU World Cup Speed Skating last week in Minsk (17–18 March 2018) and the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.


Mr. Ghiotto finished in 6:30.66, over six seconds in front of his Italian compatriot Michele Malfatti (6:36.91) who took the silver, with the bronze medal going to Dmitriy Morozov (6:42.94) of Kazakhstan.

“I think this race was easier for me than for other participants as I have already competed on this stadium during the World Cup. Nevertheless sportsmen have very high level, just as the whole championship,” Mr. Ghiotto commented. “I like Belarus and Minsk very much. Unfortunately, during the contest I don’t have a chance to appreciate all hospitality of counties, but thankfully to this championship I could stay in Belarus for a week.”

Next onto the ice were competitors for the Women’s Team Sprint as 17 athletes from 5 countries took part. The Russian team of Uliana Kudlenko, Elena Samkova, Elena Eranina won gold with a time of 1:33.33.


“This is the first day, the first distance for us, so we are in euphoria,” Ms. Eranina said. “It was a little unexpected to take the first place, but, of course, it is very pleasant.”


Finished just 2/100ths of a second behind (1:33.35) was the Polish team of Aleksandra Kapruziak, Kaja Ziomek and Andzelika Wojcik. The Netherlands team finished in third with a time of 1:34.98 with a quartet of Nienke Kleinsman, Myron Koops, Lina Miedema, and Paulien Verhaar.

In the Men’s Team Sprint, the Russians completed a golden sweep of the team sprints events, finishing in a time of 1:23.44, 18/100ths in front of Poland (1:24.62.).


“The fight was complex,” said Artem Zolotarev, member of the gold medal winning Russian team. “We showed a good result. In a few days our country will hold Russian Championship, we are preparing very diligently for this tournament. I think this preparation helped us to win.”


The Belarusian fans were pure class, showing the spirit of a true championship host as they supported all teams and skaters throughout the day’s events.


«We hardly have crowded rostrums and active fans at the competitions, Mr. Zolotarev added. “Minsk is well prepared for the competition.”


Having the “best of” international university sport putting everything into their performance and being comfortable risking everything on that fine line between breakthrough performance and crashed ice didn’t hurt the event ambience, either.


“The athletes’ task is to get the maximum speed from the very first meters, head trainer for the Belarusian national team Sergei Minin said. “The race is very dangerous and spectacular. There are many falls and disqualifications due to the fact that the athletes are moving at high speed.”

 Here are the Day 1 Results 

Fans were on their feet during day one of the World University Speed Skating Championships in Minsk