Oscar Mathisen
Speedskating - Oscar Diary

Goodbye to the Frogner rink

Thankfully the night was cold a hundred years ago today, and the organisers of the Helsingfors-Kristiania match gave yesterday’s battered ice some water or even moved the track some, thus the conditions on the 2nd day of the match was considerably improved. Yesterday’s good results from the home skaters also had drawn out quite a substantial crowd of at least a 1000 in the beautiful, though windy, spring weather.

The HSK team, from Hufvudstadsbladet.The first event of the meet was the 500m, and it started well for the home club, Wickström winning easily against Johannessen in a surprisingly good result, 46,5, only 3/10 behind the recent Finnish record of Helander.

Then the top two of the previous distance were ready: Strömstén and Mathisen. But the Norwegian didn’t seem his usual sprightly, daring self and the home favourite hung on well surprisingly long into the race. Only towards the end Oscar built up something like his usual speed and set up a substantial difference. However, when the clocks were checked, it turned out he had skated the same time as the leader Wickström!

But Mathisen wasn’t the only Norwegian who could sprint. Frang in the next pair was feared, and he set up a marvellous speed in the first 100 meters with a phenomenal frequency. He slowed down towards the end but his pairmate Lindholm already was far behind, and if Frang hadn’t stopped skating 5 meter before the finish he surely would have seen the 45 figure. As it was he took the lead with 46,2, and the home team prospects suddenly didn’t look so good any more.

In the last pair, Olsen, whose participation was in some doubt as he had not skated the 5000m, had a fight with Tverin, who tried desperately to snatch something from the race, but the Norwegian made it in the end. Though he finished benind the best Finn, he made a decisive difference, and the Norwegian deficit was already reversed.

1.Bjarne Frang        46,2
2.Oscar Mathisen      46,5
Väinö Wickström       46,5
4.Henning Olsen       47,0
5.Gunnar Strömstén    47,6
Walter Tverin         47,6
7.Axel Lindholm       48,0
8.Stener Johannessen  48,7
KSK 7.5 HSK 13.5; sum KSK 19.5 HSK 22.5

Then the juniors skated their 500 meters, giving Thunberg his first win, with the friend who had sold him his skates in 2nd place:

1.Clas Thunberg       50,4 pb
2.Hans Wasenius       50,7 pb
3.N. Wickström        51,1 pb
4.Julius Skutnabb     51,2 pb
5.G. Savolainen       53,3 pb

The difference had been reversed in the club match after the 500m, but only 3 points to go, so it wasn’t quite hopeless yet. And Wickström in the 1st pair of the final distance against the prominent Frang sure was ready to do his bit. He was in good shape and skated well again, matching the Norwegian in every lap and skating past him in a strong finish, rewarded by great applause from the audience. The times were 2.29,8 and 2.30,1.

The next pair of Olsen and Tverin was followed with great interest, because if the Finn could overcome “the sick man”, the match now would still be within reach. But the experienced 1500m skater Olsen did not fail and won the pair in 2.32,1 against 2.33,4. Only very theoretical maths could secure a Finnish win now.

Lindholm in the 3rd pair beat Johannessen, but their times were poor and they could not make any difference.

Those theoretical maths included Strömstén in the last pair beating the great Mathisen and finishing ahead of Frang while Mathisen did not finish ahead of Wickström. But of course the Norwegian was not so obliging this time and scored another of his beautiful victories, finishing in 2.27,3. Strömstén did 2.31,1.

1.Oscar Mathisen      2.27,3
2.Väinö Wickström     2.29,8
3.Bjarne Frang        2.30,1
4.Gunnar Strömstén    2.31,1
5.Henning Olsen       2.32,1
6.Walter Tverin       2.33,4
7.Axel Lindholm       2.36,4
8.Stener Johannessen  2.37,8
KSK 9 HSK 12; final points KSK 28.5 HSK 34.5

KSK thus could travel home with the third Finnepokal cup. A decision to create a fourth one was not made, as the new Finland-Sweden-Norway trophy was expected to take its place.

The meet concluded with the 1500m junior races.

1.Julius Skutnabb     2.41,9 pb
2.Clas Thunberg       2.42,9 pb
3.Hans Wasenius       2.44,3
4.Aleks. Stukaloff    2.45,5
5.N. Wickström        2.46,5 pb

In Kristiania, IF Ørnulf and Oslo Fotballklubb arranged youth races at the old Frogner rink, the final ones of the season, and in history, as it would have to move in order to make way for some art. In the senior class, Jens and Valdemar Olsen shared the 500m win with 54,2, while Valdemar won the 1500m in 2.56,8, only 2/10 ahead of his brother (not twin, surprisingly). In the boys class, a possible relative, the 15 years old Oskar Olsen, set a pb in the 1000m with 1.53,5, rising to 87th place in the all-time list, his first top-100 position. Then the history of the old Frogner rink was over.