Berlin (MOREL)- After months without any prospect of competition, the starting gun sounded right on time at 3.30 pm for 2.247 skaters at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON Inline Skating. It was a moment long anticipated, reflecting the almost physical sense of emotion among the waves of starters. Even though everyone wore masks to conform to hygiene regulations and maintained social distance, the joy of this communal experience was plain to see. When the starting gate in rainbow colours was set
in motion, #restartskating was well and truly back on the streets of Berlin. SCC EVENTS as organiser of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON Inline Skating, together with the participants and partners, sent a clear message in the form of its rainbow colours for open-mindedness, tolerance and acceptance, values which the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON Inline Skating with its endurance sport community has supported for years.
The actual rainbow in the skies above the capital which had still been visible that morning, had departed, leaving the skaters with temperatures around 20 degrees Centigrade on their sight-seeing tour of Berlin. The elite at the front had little time to take in the sights, such is the prestige attached to winning this race in Berlin among the international skating community. For most elite skaters the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON Inline Skating is by far the most important race of the year, that’s why a place on the podium is always so keenly contested.
Bart Swings and Sandrine Tas led the Powerslide Matter team to the top of the inline skating charts as #restartskating got underway in Saturday’s event at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON Inine Skating. Swings from Belgium celebrated his seventh win in the city’s skating marathon, failing to break his own course record by just one second when he crossed the line in 56:50. His compatriot Sandrine Tas increased the Powerslide Matter team’s joy by winning a sprint finish in 1:13:40.
Fine weather greeted the elite skaters from the start and by halfway, passed in 28:52, a group of around 30 men formed the leading bunch. At that stage they were some 20 seconds adrift of course record pace. The time to beat was 56:49, set by the prolific Bart Swings in 2015. He produced yet another example of his talent by pushing the tempo in the second half, building a significant lead over the eventual runner-up, Felix Rijhnen, also a team-mate in Powerslide Matter. The German finished second in 58:04, well behind the victorious Swings, while Martin Ferrié of EO Skates was third with the same time as Rijhnen. Bart Swings, reflecting on his seventh win in this classic of Inline Skating in Berlin, paid tribute to his team-mates in Powerslide Matter: “It was a strong team performance. With eight kilometres to go, I was able to break clear, then I realised that the course record was possible. In the end I missed it by just one second but otherwise it was a perfect race.”
The outcome of the women’s title followed a similar story for the first half. The clock showed 35:57 at halfway for a group of around 30. Any challenge to the course record of 66:35, set by Maira Arias of Argentina in 2017, looked out of reach. The contest came down to a sprint with Sandrine Tas compounding the day of triumph for Powerslide Matter, claiming top honours with 1:13:40. Aura Quintana Herrera of Colombia and Germany’s Katharina Rumpus were second and third respectively but with the same time as the winner. (ends)