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Dutch duo skate to European titles

13 Jan 2014
Sochi 2014, Olympic News

Dutch pair Ireen Wüst and Jan Blokhuijsen stole the show in Hamar (NOR) on Sunday, winning the women’s and men’s European Speed Skating titles respectively.

Wüst and Blokhuijsen held off the challenges of compatriots Yvonne Nauta and Koen Verweij to ensure a dominant weekend for the Netherlands – issuing a timely reminder of their medal credentials ahead of Sochi 2014.

Wüst, who won 1,500m gold at Vancouver 2010, took the honours in that distance, as well as over 500m and 3,000m. Third place in the final discipline, the 5,000m was enough to see her retain the title with a European Championship record of 159.736 points.

“I’m very satisfied with all my races and feel ready for Sochi,” she said. “In the last race I wanted to be prudent. Why would I use too much energy? I need to stay fit and healthy for Sochi.”

Blokhuijsen, a bronze medalist in the team pursuit in Vancouver, pulled out a superb victory in the 10,000m – recovering from what had seemed a decisive setback when he finished ninth in the 1,500m. Having secured the title with a total of 149.196 points, he pledged to “bring that euphoric feeling to Sochi.”

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