A superb final lap handed Lotte van Beek (NED) gold in the ladies’ 1500m at the ISU European Championships in Kolomna on Friday. Yekaterina Shikhova (RUS) and Marrit Leenstra (NED) took silver and bronze.
Van Beek, bronze medalist at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, was the first of the favorites to take the ice.
After a 26.2 opener the 27-year-old Dutchwoman maintained a flat schedule. With 28.7, 30.0 and 30.4 full laps, she finished in 1:55.52. Apart from Van Beek, no one was able to skate a final lap under 31 seconds.
Shikhova was paired with Leenstra and both ladies started faster than Van Beek. In a very tight race they were still 0.3 seconds ahead of Van Beek at the 1100m mark, but they were more than a second slower in the final. Shikhova finished in 1:56.57 and Leenstra was only 0.01 behind in 1:56.58.