Dresden / Germany

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Sjinkie Knegt (NED) looked as relaxed as a man out for a casual skate when he took to the ice on Saturday afternoon, even taking time to wave to his young daughter in the crowd while on the start line.

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But the Netherlands athlete showed real focus after the starting gun went off, coming through a dramatic race to win the men’s 1500m at the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating 2018 in Dresden.

With reigning Olympic champion Victor An (RUS) having crashed out in the semi-final, Knegt still had to deal with the challenge of Semion Elistratov (RUS), who shadowed him through much of the race.

But after France’s Sébastien Lepape fell in the tussle for position during the final laps, Knegt increased his speed to finish ahead of Elistratov. Thibaut Fauconnet (FRA) took the bronze. 

“I feel happy and relaxed and in good form,” said Knegt after the race. “I even took a moment to wave to my daughter in the stand, just before the start. I could hear her shouting ‘come on dad’, so I gave her a smile.” 

“Sometimes skating can look easy, but it isn’t. I train very hard.”

Roberto Pukitis (LAT) won the B Final at the EnergieVerbund Arena.