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Antoinette de Jong and Kjeld Nuis took a gold medal at the Dutch Allround and Sprint Championships on Sunday. The 24-year-old speed skater of Team Jumbo-Visma became Dutch allround champion for the second time in her career, while multiple Olympic champion Nuis took his first national sprint gold at Thialf, Heerenveen.
After winning the ladies' 500- and 3,000-meter races on Saturday, De Jong secured her win by finishing second in both races (1,500 and 5,000 meters) on Sunday. Her teammate Carlijn Achtereekte, who managed to win the ladies' 5,000-meter race, seized bronze, while Melissa Wijfje took silver. Joy Beune ended up in fourth place.
"I am very happy with my title", De Jong said. "I think I have to be satisfied with my results this weekend. In my opinion, I have bounced back from my poor performances at the Dutch Single Distance Championships earlier this season. This outcome gives a lot of confidence for the World Allround Championships."
"It was an exciting tournament. I had a really good first day, but my 1500-meter race wasn't that good. I lost some costly time, so I really to fight for this one. I am happy I was able to get it done and win my second Dutch allround title of my career. If I am able to keep up this level, some great things could happen."
On Sunday, Nuis won his first Dutch sprint title of his career. The 30-year-old speed skater, who won both 1000-meter races, finished just ahead of Lennart Velema. Gijs Esders took bronze. Ronald Mulder, who was leading the classification after the first day, lost his lead after falling during the 500-meter race earlier on Sunday.
Nuis had mixed feelings after winning his first Dutch sprint title. "Of course, I am happy, but it's never nice to win like this. I feel really bad for Ronald. I am not happy with my times as well. I really need to skate faster at the World Championships. This is not the level I want to be at. Fortunately, I still have some time to improve myself."
Douwe de Vries, who became Dutch allround champion last year, ended up in third place. The 37-year-old speed skater managed to win the final event of the tournament, the men's 10,000-meter race, but he wasn't able to defend his title. Jan Blokhuijsen seized gold, while Marcel Bosker took silver. Team Jumbo-Visma skaters Chris Huizinga and Kars Jansman finished fourth and sixth.
Pictures: Stephan Tellier