After the first corner, the European Championships will be an extremely luxurious training for Marcel Bosker

It had to be an all-round European Championship of 17 intensive kilometers at the top of its capabilities. After the first corner, Marcel Bosker already knew in Hamar that a top ranking was unattainable. A fall from his friend Gabriel Odor also bothered the Groningen man.

In the skating hotel in Hamar, Marcel Bosker and Gabriel Odor were playing a game of chess on the eve of the European Allround Championships, as they often do during international trips. At that moment the draw for the 500 meters was announced. The friends were linked. ,,In hindsight, I would rather have raced against someone else”, said Bosker.

Because after 150 meters the tournament was actually over for both skaters. Bosker shot into the outside corner after the first 100 meters and saw the Austrian take a few shaky steps on the inside. He still thought ‘dude what are you doing?’, but at that moment Odor already slumped.

In a split second, Bosker considered his options. ,,If I keep going, he will bump into me and I will soon be in the hospital.” Bosker got up, easily passed his falling mate, but at the same time knew that his tournament had a completely different meaning. Of course Bosker was allowed to run over, but that just cost him half a second. Funest at an all-round tournament.

Empty job

After the 1000 meters of the sprint women, he was alone at the start. The air circulation was gone on the empty track, he missed an opponent to pull himself up to and a nice crossing. ,,You are taken out of your rhythm. Normally you go back to the hotel to have something to eat, but the time was too short for that now.

Odor had tears in his eyes, because he not only destroyed his own ranking, but indirectly also that of Bosker. ,,But I don’t blame him”, said the skater from Groningen. Falling is also part of the sport. “He doesn’t do it on purpose. It’s part of it, but rather not of course.”

Dear skating friends

Bosker (25) and Odor (22) have known each other for most of their lives. The former grew up in Switzerland and because the Austrian and Swiss national championships were always combined, they got to know each other. “Since I was ten or so.”

The two kept in touch when Bosker moved to the Netherlands and traveled the world as a skater in orange. ,,Now that he is also active in the World Cup circuit, we have more contact again”, Bosker said. “He is one of my best friends in the skating world. That also makes it extra sour.”

But that was precisely why Bosker could not be angry. ,,I am of course very disappointed, because it went well all week.” With a normal course he could have taken part in the battle for the bronze, but that did not work after the sprint. After four distances, Bosker finally had to settle for seventh place.

Wiping off the chessboard

After driving over, the real tournament sharpness was gone. “If you really drive with the knife between your teeth, the 5 kilometers also go a lot faster. But now it became an extremely luxurious training.” He no longer got the most out of his body. “Normally it is ready after 17 kilometers, now it was already after 150 meters. The load of a good classification was gone.”

In the end, he quickly left the disappointment behind. ,,We will just play another game of chess tonight”, Bosker said. And who would end that duel as the winner? ,,Me of course”, Bosker said laughing. “I always wipe him off the board.”