The Free Media


Irene Schouten has clinched her third gold medal of the Olympics, making her one of the most successful Dutch skaters ever at a single winter games.

Schouten added the mass start to her Beijing tally, having already won gold in the 3,000 meters and 5,000 metres and bronze in the team pursuit. World champion Ivanie Blondin from Canada, who had led for the much of the race, took the silver and Francesca Lollobrigida from Italy, the bronze.

The other Dutch hopeful, Marijke Groenewoud, fell with five rounds to go and was out of medal contention.
There was disappointment for the men, Jorrit Bergsma and Sven Kramer, who both finished outside the medal placings. Kramer, competing in his fifth and final Olympics, said after the event that he had now skated his last competitive race. ‘Never again a race, that’s for sure,’ said Kramer, who has struggled with back problems in recent years. ‘All I can say is that I did everything I could to be good while I was here.’

The Dutch Olympic team now has eight gold, five silver and four bronze medals and is in fourth place on the medals table. The games end on Sunday.


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