Team Jumbo-Visma promotes revelation Scheperkamp to professional team

Team Jumbo-Visma promotes revelation Scheperkamp to professional team

Merijn Scheperkamp has signed a new two-year deal with Team Jumbo-Visma. The 21-year-old sprinter, who stunned the speed skating world by securing a spot for the Olympic Games during the Dutch Olympic trials at Thialf, will also be promoted from the Development Team to the main force of the team of coach Jac Orie.

By signing his first ever professional contract a dream comes true for Scheperkamp. "I am very happy with the confidence that the team has given to me. My dream has become reality", Scheperkamp said. After three seasons with the Development Team of coach Sicco Janmaat, he is ready for the next step in his career.

"This next step does not come as a surprise. Last season, I had already shown that I was able to compete for World Cup spots and this year I have continued that upward trend. I hope I can qualify for the World Cups more often and I really want to compete for World Championship places in the upcoming years. I must say that I am really proud of what I have accomplished, while skating for the Development Team of Team Jumbo-Visma."

Scheperkamp, ​​who is currently preparing for his first Olympic Games, is the second speed skater after Tijmen Snel, who gets promoted from the Development Team of Team Jumbo-Visma to the professional team. However, he thinks that the switch is not going to make much of a difference. "We are one team and every single day we try to push each other to a higher level, whether you are skating for the Development Team or the main team."

Aaneenschakeling van hoogtepunten

Although the Olympic Games have not even started yet, Scheperkamp is already having the best season of his career. At the Dutch Single Distance Championships, he managed to qualify for the World Cups in the 500m. During the World Cup events in Poland, Norway and the United States he set many personal bests.

A couple of weeks later, he stunned the speed skating world by setting the fastest time in the men's 500-meter race at the Dutch Olympic trials. By doing so, he secured himself a spot for the Olympic Games for the first time in his career. At the European Speed Skating Championships, he just missed out on the European title in the 500m. He had to settle for silver after losing by such a small margin.

"This season has been one full of highlights," Scheperkamp said. "The last couple of months have been crazy. If you had told me six months ago that I would achieve all of this, I would never have believed you." The next couple of years, Scheperkamp's goal is to qualify for many big international tournaments. "I want to go to the World Single Distance Championships and the World Sprint Championship. My focus remains on the 500 and 1,000m."

Coach Orie is also delighted that he will be able to work with Scheperkamp in the upcoming years. "Merijn is such a great talent, who has developed exponentially in a short time. I think it's great to see that he has completed the process of our Development Team, led by coach Sicco, very quickly. I think he can be one of the best speed skaters in the world in both the 500 and 1000m. We have not seen the last of him. There is definitely much more to come."

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