After two years of skating the 100 meter at the European Championship this year the 200 meter was brought back. There was no good place near the track to skate the 100 meter, so the 200 meter course that was used before was back in bussiness. What did the skaters think about it? We asked Ron Pucklitzsch, bronze medal winner and Leonie Imhof…
Ron Pucklitzsch is a first year senior from Gera, he won the bronze medal today in the 200 meter sprint.
You looked at Ronald and Michel Mulder and you thought you could beat them? “I hoped it.”
And Fernandez? “No, he’s too fast. But I’m super happy to be on the podium.”
Do you skate the 200 meter often? “No, my last 200 meter in competition was in Innsbruck at the Euros in 2015.”
Were you surprised you had to do 200 meter again? “I don’t really care, it’s a good distance for me.”
What did you think of the road course? “First it was a little bit difficult, but after a few practise laps it was ok.”
How was your tournament so far? “I was also really happy with my 300 meter, I took 6th place. The 500 meter was also good, it’s a little bit too long for me, but it’s gonna get better, I got 9th place now.”
Ron will also skate the one lap on Wednesday, maybe he can take another medal.
How was your 200 meter? “It was pretty good, it’s not my favorite distance but it was a lot of fun.” Fun? “Yes and the 7th place is a good place.”
In the morning Leonie took 6th place in the heat with 19.550 and in the final she finished 7th in a time of 19.296. Most of the skaters had fasters times in the final than in the heats.
How is it possible to skate faster in the final than in the heats? Don’t you give everything already to make the final? “It’s a different feeling in the final and you want to skate better than before. You know that it’s about medal.”
Did you think you had a chance for a medal today? “I hoped so, I knew it was hard, but if not it was ok.”
Did you every skate the 200 meter before in a race? “No, never.” Was it difficult to skate the new distance? “No, it’s like a normal sprint on the road and shorter than 300 meter on the track but it’s very good.”
How was the rest of the tournament? “I never thought I could get a medal here, this is my first European Championship. I was just here to look what I can do and to get experience.”
Leonie will skate the one lap on Wednesday. Do you have medal chances there? “I hope so, I think the chance is better than today, it’s more like the 500 meters with other people.”
It’s very difficult with the Italians and the Spanish…”It’s a little bit like the European Cup, except the Italians maybe.”
Do they train differently from what you do in Germany? “I think they train more and harder in the same age category. We can do more when I’m older.”
Pictures: Hidde Muije