Kolomna / Russia

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Vanessa Herzog (AUT) took the first ever European single distance title in the ladies’ 500m on Friday. The 22-year-old Austrian sprinter was the only lady to break the 38 barrier, finishing in 37.69 seconds.

GettyImages 901557360 VanessaHerzog

Angelina Golikova (RUS) took silver in 38.04 and last season’s European sprint champion Karolina  Erbanova (CZE) took bronze in 38.18.

Golikova had the fastest opener of the field in 10.49 in her race versus Herzog, who was just 0.02 seconds behind after the first 100 metres. The Austrian made perfect use of her outer lane start, taking advantage of the draft behind her pair mate on the cross-over.

Herzog is the first Austrian to win gold in a major speed skating competition since 1999, when Emese Hunyady won the 1500m at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships.