On the first day of the European inline skating championships, Bart Swings won the points elimination race over ten kilometers on Sunday. Swings had come to L’Aquila in Italy to help Jason Suttels win one or more titles, but he had to settle for second place. A double triumph, they were the only Belgian prizes on the opening day of the tournament.
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Suttels had built up a nice lead when Livio Wenger escaped. Swings charged the Swiss. Suttels could no longer keep up with the increased pace. Swings had no choice but to drive for his own chances. Swings then claimed all the points. As a result, Wenger finished third.
The participants had to start twice because the race was initially stopped due to a crash. The Swiss Flavio Gross had to be taken off the slopes with a stretcher.
For the women, the points elimination match was neutralized up to two times after falls. Fran Vanhoutte, who won three golds in her last year as a junior in 2022, finished eighth. The title went to Marine Lefeuvre from France. Stien Vanhoutte, France’s older sister, was seventh in the 200 meters.
Jorun Geerts, the best Belgian junior at the moment, missed out on the prizes. Because of points in the starting rounds, a third place seemed feasible. Also later in the race, after she missed the stroke. In the final laps, however, she dropped to fifth place. The championship was for Giulia Presti.
The eighteen skaters strong Belgian delegation got to know the Centro Polisportivo Giovanile Aquilano from all angles last week. From Monday, there has been daily training on the slopes. According to delegation leader Anja Decoster, the preparation for the tournament has been “perfect”. “We have no injuries, everyone is in top shape,” said Decoster the day before the start of the European Championship, which lasts until September 11.