Oscar Mathisen
Speedskating - Oscar Diary

Statistics 1915

The next meeting place for the Norwegian top skaters after the Nordic Cup match was in Trondhjem for the races of February 27 and 28. Here, Strøm again finished on top, but only one point ahead of Henning Olsen, who won the 500m, and this time he lost to Aune head to head in the 5000m as well. The 500 and 5000 meter times were not top class, but in the 1500m several improved their pbs, one of them Kristian Strøm himself, who consolidated his Adelskalender 17th place with his 2.26,8. The new star Ole Mamen won a meet in Drammen where he beat Bjarne Frang in the 1500m. The conditions were horrible with winning times of over 3 minutes in the 1500m and 11 minutes in the 5000m. Mamen, probably slight of build, probably was close to earning the nickname “slush skater” after this.

The new Russian top skater Jakov Melnikov visited Helsingfors, where he met the local top man Skutnabb in the 5000 m and beat him by half a second, clocking 9.04,9. This meet turned out to be the most international of the season as the Estonian Kukk competed in the senior class and the masters class had the Russian Trifonov and the Norwegian Martinus Lørdahl among the participants. The Swedes held their junior championship the same weekend with 35 participants. 23 of them skated the 10000m.

Next week the Finns arranged their national championship in Helsingfors, where the crowds were eager to see what the new comet from Tammerfors, Arve Tuomainen, could accomplish against their own skaters, with last year’s breakthrough man Skutnabb as the most prominent. In the 500m he proved fast at 46,6, only beaten by the young Clas Thunberg, who improved his pb to 46,4. Wickström with 47,3 was 3rd and Skutnabb 5th with 48,1. The 5000m was won by Skutnabb in 9.00,1, but Tuomainen again was 2nd in 9.05,7, giving him a 2 points lead after day 1. He increased it back to 3 after the 1500 m, which he won in 2.29,9 with Skutnabb 2nd in 2.30,9, a mere 10th ahead of Thunberg in 3rd. Skutnabb now needed two men between himself and Tuomainen to win the championship. Luckily they were paired, and in the race he not only beat his rival by 14.4 seconds, giving plenty of room for two, he took the national record away from him, too, clocking 18.16,4. His clubmates Wickström and Bergström skated in another pair and the outlook must have been promising for Skutnabb for a good while. Wickström did skate 18.25,3, which was quite adequate. But Bergström fancied himself as record man rather than his clubmate as champion, and at 18.15,5 he secured his record by 9 tenths of a second while Tuomainen rejoiced for his first Finnish championship.

Meanwhile the Norwegian top skaters assembled at Hamar for a two-day meet with a full allround programme. They had Swedish visitors, and the best of them, Paul Zerling, proved a tough nut to crack. He was one tenth ahead of Kristian Strøm in the 500m and only was beaten by Mamen in addition to Strøm in the 10000 m, won by the Hortenser in 18.55,0. At that point, Henning Olsen was equal to the Swede on points due to his 500m win. Aune was out of the game after a fall. Then Zerling managed to beat Strøm in the 1500m in 2.31,0 vs. 2.31,5. Those were the best times of the distance, and thus they were equal before the final 5000m and the best of them there would win the meet. The Swede did well paired with Olsen, beat him by 6 seconds and finishing in 9.10,5. But in a later or earlier par, possibly most probably a later one, Strøm beat Mamen by close to 12 seconds, clocking 9.09,9, securing the win. Must have been exciting.

In a KSK club race at Frogner over 5000m for a sponsor prize, Frithjof Paulsen won the junior A class in 9.38,2 while Alf Larsen won the junior B class in 9.55,2. No. 3 here was Ole Olsen, 17 years old, skating his 2nd 5000m and the first one under 10 minutes. But perhaps the race in 11.39,1 by the 13 years old Gunnar Sumstad drew more attention.

Martinus Lørdahl was still abroad, this time as far away from home as Petrograd, where he skated master class races in a meet where Jakov Melnikov won three distances. This tour of Lørdahl’s in the late winter 1915 through a wartime Russian Empire could well be worthy of a history book all of its own, I think. Next weekend he was back in Finland again, in Viborg, where Platon Ippolitov won a meet trailed by Melnikov and Wickström. Meanwhile the newly crowned Finnish Champion Tuomainen was back home in Tammerfors again, where he improved his own national record in the 500m to 45,8.

And then the 1915 season, which became quite memorable after all, is history:

A. Complete Adelskalender after the 1915 season

B. World records after the 1915 season

C. Distance statistics

D. Lowland records after the 1915 season

E. Complete lowland Adelskalender after the 1915 season

F. Distansestatistikk lavland

G. Uni-Koeln anno 1915:

Here are my votes. What are yours?

Best skater from:
Austria: Willy Reisinger
Bohemia: Karl Hladky
Canada: Russ Wheeler
Estonia: Johannes Villemson
Finland: Arvo Tuomainen
France: J. Werner Björk
Hungary: L. Kraus
Norway: Oscar Mathisen
Russia: Jakov Melnikov
Sweden: Paul Zerling
USA: Edmund Lamy

Best male allrounder: Oscar Mathisen
Best male sprinter: Oscar Mathisen
Best male long distance skater: Sverre Aune or Oscar Mathisen or Jakov Melnikov or Julius Skutnabb
Best junior: Melvin Johansen

Break-through of the year: Sverre Aune or Kristian Strøm or Jakov Melnikov or Arvo Tuomainen
Come-back of the year: none in particular
Surprise of the year: Ole Mamen
Disappointment of the year: No international championships
Unluckiest skater: Sverre Aune
Wednesday skater: Oscar Mathisen
Most feared farewell: Vasilij Ippolitov

Best coach: ---no comment
Best team: HSK
Best event: Frogner Cup races, Frogner Stadion, Feb. 13-14 or Finnish Championship Mar. 6-7
Duel of the year: Mathisen and Aune in 5000 m at the Frogner Cup races February 14th, or Melnikov-Skutnabb in Helsingfors on Feb. 28th
Best race: 8.33,8
Best rink: Frogner Stadion
Scandal of the year: SASK including non club-members in their team for the Nordic Cup match, or the absence of Oscar Mathisen from said match

And finally, skater of the year: Oscar Mathisen