This year the International skeelerweekend got moved to Medemblik and Wervershoof. To make it international you need foreign skaters. With participants from Belgium, Denmark and Finland it was international indeed.
The Finnish team consists of Antti Sjögren, Nils Vähä-Vahe and Jani Virtanen, all junior A skaters.
How do three guys from Finland end up in Medemblik? “We have been to Haulerwijk/Wolvega before, because our coach knew about the tournament. He participated himself when he was our age. We like it better than racing in Finland and it’s a bit easier than the European Cups.”
Is there a lot of inline skating in Finland? “Not so many people do it, but there are a lot of 5-11 year old kids. There is no piste, because of the weather. We just train on an old 200m and 500m track, and in winter we skate on ice.”
Did you skate any European Cups before? “Yes, we were in Heerde two years ago and we’ve been to Geisingen and Gross-Gerau with the national team.
Will you go to the European Championships in Oostende? “Maybe, the only way to qualify for that is the marathon in Estonia next week. If we don’t qualify for Euros we probably won’t go to the Flanders Grand Prix but start training on ice instead.”
Antti plays icehockey, Jani skates short track and Nils is a long track skater with ambition. Nils: “Peter Muller is the new coach of the national team, I train with him now. This year I”ll be junior B2 and want to qualify for the junior worldcups.”
How are the results this weekend? “There are only four junior A men, so we might all be on the podium, but we race together with the junior B and some of them are really fast.”
Junior A Results:
1 705 Antti Sjögren
2 706 Nils Vähä-Vahe
3 707 Jani Virtanen
4 704 Raoul Bruijn
Nils and Jani in the on-lap B final
Antti in the one-lap final, he got 4th place
Read more about the tournament and check out all the videos and pictures on the Radboud Facebookpage
Want to know about the inline club in Helsinki? Check out their Facebookpage