Oscar Mathisen
Speedskating - Oscar Diary

The Great CometA 100 years ago today, you might well wonder if something was amiss with the world. The great comet, not the one that was predicted, but another, unexpected one, hung in the sky throwing an ominous glare over men and beasts both day and night. Reports came in about a great fire in Constantinople, a volcanic eruption in Costa Rica, huge rocks falling from the sky in Italy. In Paris the Seine flooded the city, causing much destruction, and on top of that, the British Prime Minister was personally attacked by suffragettes! No, there was definitely something up with the world.

Davos was visited by Oscar Mathisen and his Norwegian teammates for the third consecutive year, and Oscar enjoyed seeing the cozy little alpine town again. But even the dreamlike skating rink of Davos appeared less hospitable this time, suffering under a windy and cloudy weather with lots of snow—the same depression that caused the great flood in Paris. On Saturday, the first day of the races, a foot of snow had to be removed before they could start, and the snowing continued throughout the day.

The rail journey had gone much smoother than the first time they were in these parts. And it was shorter, too, as they weren’t going to Klagenfurt until after the races in Davos. The European Championship curiously was planned for the following Tuesday and Wednesday, possibly hoping to preserve the Wörther See ice against the thaw. The journey didn’t start until a week after the return from Trondhjem, so the skaters did not have much time to adapt for the altitude.

But the results were excellent anyway, with a Norwegian 1-2 in the 500m, and excepting Sæterhaug who fell, all skaters improved their personal bests, some by several seconds. Oscar broke the 45 second barrier for the first time, to tremendous applause from hundreds of tourists who had turned out despite the poor weather to spectate the fabulous Norwegians. He was a sprinter as good as any by now, and who knows if the World Record could have received some knocks under better conditions. Magnus Johansen improved his pb as well, and climbed past Estlander, Burnov and Andersson to an 18th place in Adelskalenderen.

1.Oscar Mathisen          44.8 pb
2.Magnus Johansen         47.6 pb
3.Roy Weibel              51.2 pb
4.Wyndout Hendrik Taconis 52.6 pb
Jac P de Koning           52.6 pb
6.Charles Sabouret        53.6 pb
7.Eugen H Freytag         54.4 pb
8.Martin Sæterhaug        56.8f
9.Adrian Maucourt         58.6 pb
10.Guy Breteau            60.0 pb

class 2:
1.Max Kniel              50.2 pb
2.Weibel                 50.8 pb
3.Richard Peyton-Burbery 51.8 pb
4.Freytag                55.2
5.Cornel Hoffmann        56.8 pb
Fredrick C Morely f,dnf

After lunch at the hotel, the races continued with the 5000m. But it kept on snowing and while the skaters were on the ice, it couldn’t be cleared properly, so racing conditions declined. The Norwegians again outshone the field, but the times were not so impressive. Still a few pbs were set down the ranks.

1.Mathisen   9.06.2
2.Johansen   9.20.2
3.Sæterhaug  9.32.0
4.Taconis    9.45.8 p
5.Weibel    10.18.6
6.Freytag   10.36.6 p
7.Sabouret  10.48.2f
8.de Koning 10.49.6f, p
9.Maucourt  11.28.8 p
10.Breteau  12.12.4 p

1.Mathisen             2
2.Johansen             4
3.Weibel               8
4.Taconis              8,5
5.Sæterhaug           11
6.de Koning           12,5
7.Freytag og Sabouret 13 
9.Maucourt            18
10.Breteau            20

The meet continues tomorrow with the 1500 and the 10000m.