Thomas Krol led an all-Dutch podium at the European Championships ©Getty Images

The Netherlands were victorious in three finals on the opening day of the International Skating Union (ISU) European Speed Skating Championships at Thialf in Heerenveen, to top the medal table early on.

The trio of Sven Kramer, Marcel Bosker and Patrick Roest gave The Netherlands a victory in the men's team pursuit, crossing the line in 3min 37.975sec, nearly a second in front of Norway's Allan Dahl Johansson, Hallgeir Engebråten and Sverre Lunde Pedersen, who took silver.

Italians Andrea Giovannini, Davide Ghiotto and Michele Malfatti took the bronze medal in front of Poland and Belarus.

Another Dutch victory came in the women's 3,000 metres, after Irene Schouten set a new track record in a time of 3:56.623, beating her compatriot Antoinette de Jong by 3.17 seconds to the gold.

Close behind De Jong was Italian Francesca Lollobrigida, 3.99 off the winner.

Skating last, Norway's Ragne Wiklund placed fourth and Carlijn Achtereekte of The Netherlands was fifth.

Irene Schouten claimed gold in the women's 3,000m race in front of Antoinette de Jong ©Getty Images
Irene Schouten claimed gold in the women's 3,000m race in front of Antoinette de Jong ©Getty Images

Ending the night, The Netherlands swept the podium in the men's 1,000m, led by Thomas Krol, who won a European title for a third-straight Championships in a time of 1:07.776.

Kjeld Nuis was nine hundredths of a second behind for the silver and Kai Verbij was a comfortable bronze medallist, more than half a second in front of Cornelius Kersten of Britain in fourth.

German Joel Dufter completed the top five.

Poland took the women's sprint title by a clear margin of 3.91sec.

Andzelika Wójcik, Kaja Ziomek and Karolina Bosiek finished in 1:27.265 for the gold medal, in front of Yauheniya Varabyova, Hanna Nifantava and Ekaterina Sloeva of Belarus.

Bronze medals were claimed by Norwegians Julie Nistad Samsonsen, Martine Ripsrud and Ane By Farstad who finished just a couple of tenths of a second behind the silver medallists.