MINSK, Belarus (AP) - Dutch skater Sven Kramer won the European speedskating championships for a record eighth time Sunday, underlining his status among the sport’s all-time greats.
Kramer’s win was based on victory in the 5,000 and 10,000-meter events, the longest of the four events that comprise the all-around competition. With a score of 150.102 points, he edged out Belgian Bart Swings by 0.37 points.
Triple Olympic gold medalist Kramer has won every European title since 2007 bar two - in 2011 and 2014 when he did not race at the championships.
Jan Blokhuijsen of the Netherlands was third, 1.08 points off Kramer.
Russia’s Denis Yuskov was king of the shorter events, setting the fastest times over 500m and 1,500m, but only managed ninth in the final standings.
Earlier, Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic won her fifth European title, ending a three-year win streak for her Dutch rival Ireen Wust.
Sablikova was fastest in three of the four events that comprise the all-around competition for an overall score of 161.455 points, enough to beat Wust by 1.74 points.
It is Sablikova’s first European all-around title since 2012. She becomes the fourth woman, and first non-German, to amass five career wins.
Bronze went to another Dutch skater, Antoinette de Jong, who was 2.59 points behind Sablikova.
There was notable failure for Germany, once one of speedskating’s superpowers, as its top skaters finished 16th in the women’s standings and 18th in the men’s classification.
It was the last edition of the championships to use the all-around format. From next year, titles will be awarded for each individual event.
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