More gold medals for the Dutch at world speed skating championships

More gold medals for the Dutch at world speed skating championships

Dutch skaters won a slew more medals at the world championships in Kolomna, Russia this weekend. Sven Kramer on Saturday took the world 5,000 metres speed skating title for the seventh time in his career. Kramer, 29, set a new track record of 6.10.31 for the distance. Fellow Dutchman Jorrit Bergsma was just 0.35 of a second behind Kramer to take  silver. The bronze went to Norway’s Sverre Lunde Pedersen. Kramer has taken the 5,000 metre title seven times since since 2007. The Frisian won the 10,000 metres on the opening day of the championships in Kolomna, Russia on Thursday. Pursuit The Dutch men’s and women's teams also both picked up gold in the pursuit races and Jorien ter Mors took the women’s 1,000 and 1,500 metre titles, beating Heather  Richardson-Bergsma and Brittany Bowe of the US. In the women’s 5,000 metre event, Carien  Kleibeuker and Irene  Schouten took silver and bronze, behind reigning 10,000 metre champion Martina  Sábliková of the Czech Republic. There was silver and bronze too for the Netherlands in the men’s 1,500 metres, with Kjeld Nuis and Thomas Krol finishing behind Denis Yusov of Russia. Nuis also picked up bronze in the men’s 1,000 metres. In the men's mass start event on Sunday, defending champion Arjan Stroetinga took the silver medal behind Seung-Hoo Lee of Korea. The mass start consists of a 16-lap race where all skaters start simultaneously, and includes four sprints.  More >

Rutte's comedy routine boosts the VVD

Rutte’s comedy routine boosts VVD in the polls Last week’s comedy routine by prime minister Mark Rutte at a black-tie dinner for journalists and television celebrities has boosted his political support, according to a new poll by Maurice de Hond. Rutte’s VVD has risen from 18 to 20 seats in the latest De Hond poll, meaning the party would take up to 13.3% of the vote if there were a general election tomorrow. Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration PVV and the Christian Democrats have both lost one seat in the De Hond poll. However, the PVV still remains far ahead of the rest on 27.3%. Success Some 2.7 million people tuned in to watch the first Dutch Correspondents' Dinner, based on the annul event involving the US president and Washington press corps. However, unlike its US counterpart, the Dutch event did not include any award presentations and did not raise money for charity. Nor was it restricted to members of the press. While Rutte’s own personal standing also rose 0.4% following the event, some 20% of those polled said it was inappropriate for the prime minister to take part in such show, De Hond said. Writers from American comedy company Boom Chicago were involved in writing Rutte’s script.   More >

A snowy Sunday, night frosts next week

Rutte’s comedy routine boosts VVD in the polls Snow showers hit inland parts of the Netherlands on Sunday, causing tailbacks on some roads and reducing the speed on the A28 and A50 motorways to 60 kph in places. The Veluwe heathland region in the centre of the Netherlands and Overijssel province in the east were hardest hit by the wintry weather and the snow is set to continue overnight. It will be dry in most places on Monday, although there could be some more snow in Limburg, weather bureau KNMI said. The rest of the week will be dry with some sunny spells and the temperature will drop to as low as -6C at night. The best of the weather will be on Tuesday. Winter wonderland op de Veluwe bij Apeldoorn! RT @RianVisser: "Prachtig tochtje door de #sneeuw". — Wouter van Bernebeek (@StormchaserNL) February 14, 2016 Prachtig op de Veluwe. Zeker 5cm sneeuw op het gras! — Martijn de Vries (@datisgaaf) February 14, 2016   More >

Big brother is watching Dutch birds

Big brother is watching Dutch birds Bird watchers can keep an eye on a number of nesting birds over the next few months, now that bird protection group Vogelbescherming’s webcam network is once again up and running. This year, 10 webcams have been set up and two more will follow in the coming weeks. Various owls, a stork and a peregrine falcon are among the birds being followed 24 hours a day by webcam. Two other cameras will focus on garden and meadow birds. Last year, 1.2 million people took advantage of the webcams to follow the progress of the birds. The beleef de lente (experience spring) project was first started 10 years ago.  More >

Dutch football racism spills into darts

Dutch football racism spills over into darts The lynching of an effigy of Feyenoord goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer by an Ajax fan in the Amsterdam Arena last Sunday prompted condemnation from the Dutch football association (KNVB), and the filing of a police complaint by Vermeer himself. Now, the incident is back in the spotlight after a Premier League Darts match in Newcastle, Britain on Thursday evening. Three football fans were seen in the crowd holding posters with the text ‘Kenneth NSB’ and ‘Kenneth Vermeer Hangen´. The NSB is short for the Dutch national socialist party. The fans could clearly be seen in the broadcast on Dutch channel RTL7, and the network has since distanced itself from the insulting texts. ‘It’s a cowardly action by seemingly football supporters,’ an RTL spokeswoman told the Telegraaf. ‘It’s a shame for the sport in general that this is happening.’ Darts fans @OfficialPDC in Newcastle last night held up racist and threatening signs about Dutchman Kenneth Vermeer! — Tipster from Holland (@FootballTipsNL) February 12, 2016 Photos of the fans holding the racist placards were seen on social media during darts legend Phil Taylor’s entrance. The sport’s governing body, the Professional Darts Corporation, could not be reached for a response. Vermeer is planning to file a formal police complaint about the latest incident, Feyenoord confirmed to news agency ANP on Friday afternoon. Vermeer was signed by Feyenoord from Ajax in the summer of 2014, having begun his career as a teenager with the Amsterdam club.  More >