Oscar Mathisen
Speedskating - Oscar Diary

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A hundred years ago today, the world championship heroes were scheduled to race again, or at least two of them, as the annual match between the skating clubs of Kristiania and Helsingfors was taking place. The prize at stake was known here as the 2nd “Finnepokal”, literally “Finn cup”. No doubt the Finns called it the “Norwegian Cup” or something to that effect in their languages. The first cup had been won by the Helsingfors club in 1905, and now the clubs had one stake each in the current one, which had been contested once at Frogner, once at Helsingfors, where Oscar made his international debut, and now again at Frogner.

The Finnish team consisted of Wathén, Wikander, Strömstén and Schrey, one World Champion, one European Champion, one who ought to have been world champion, and a youngster who recently impressed in Klagenfurt and Davos. The team was identical to the one from last year who had thrashed the Kristiania team so mercilessly. KSK’s team had a similar composition: the Mathisen brothers, Rudolf Gundersen and Magnus Johansen, that is: a debutant plus two world champions and a European Champion.

Unfortunately the gods did not see kindly to the arrangement, and after days of thaw it (they) started to pour down on Saturday morning. The skaters went splashing through the water covering the ice and set up veritable waves in their wake. But they defied the gods anyhow and skated all their scheduled 5000 meters.

First Schrey defeated Gundersen by nearly a minute, clocking 9.58,6, a respectable time under the circumstances. This didn't look promising for the KSK skaters. But then Oscar met Wathén. A feared skater, but on a downwards trend, and Oscar had lost some of his respect for him in Davos. Now he quickly said goodbye to the former World Champion and skated hard to beat Schrey's time. Towards the end of the race he got Wathén in sight again and crossed the finishing line just behind him at 9.41,8. In the final pairs Strömstén beat Sigurd narrowly with 9.59,2 vs 10.03,0, and then the debutant Johansen secured an even narrower, but important win over Vikander, by just a tenth of a second: 10.06,8 and 10.06,9, providing the Norwegians with a 1 point lead after day one. As the last skater on each team was eliminated, the points were: KSK 10, HSK 11.

At the same time the Swedes were having their national championship in Falun, celebrating their European Champion, which is (pretty nearly) as fun as celebrating a world champion. And under considerably better conditions, as Öholm won both Saturday’s distances in 49,0 and 9.22,8, the latter a new Swedish record.

500 m                  5000 m              Overall           
1 Mauritz Öholm   49,0 1 Öholm      9.22,8 1 Öholm        2
2 Einar Johansson 50,4 2 Pettersson 9.44,8 2 Hofstedt     5
3 Olof Hofstedt   50,6 3 Hofstedt   9.46,8 3 Pettersson   7.5
4 Josef Lindbom   50,8 4 Carlsson   9.48,2 3 Carlsson     7.5
4 Birger Carlsson 50,8 5 Svensson   9.57,6 5 Svensson    10.5
6 Jean Pettersson 51,8 6 Låstbom    9.58,2 6 Lindbom     12.5
6 Harald Svensson 51,8 7 Morén     10.06,2 7 Låstbom     14
8 Albert Berglund 52,4 8 Berglund  10.14,2 8 Berglund    15
9 Osvald Låstbom  53,2 9 Lindbom   10.25,0 9 Morén       17
10 B Lindberg     54,6 10 Lindberg 10.56,8 10 Lindberg   19
11 Henrik Morén   54,8

Much appreciated if you have any supplementary information.