Bronze for Dutch pursuit team as snowboarding duo surprise with sixth

Snowboarder Niek van der Velden celebrates his sixth place. Photo: ANP/Koen van Weel
Snowboarder Niek van der Velden celebrates his sixth place. Photo: ANP/Koen van Weel

The Dutch speed skaters had to settle for bronze in the women’s team pursuit after they were unable to match the pace of Canada in the semi-finals.

Irene Schouten, Ireen Wüst and Antoinette de Jong finished almost a second behind the Canadians, who went on to win the gold medal after Japan’s Nana Tagaki fell on the final bend.

Marieke Groenewoud replaced De Jong for the bronze medal race against Russia, which the Netherlands won with a margin of 1.8 seconds.

It means Wüst ends her Olympic career with six gold, five silver and two bronze medals, while Schouten added a bronze to her two gold medals at the 1,500m and 3,000m last week.

The men’s team failed to win a medal for the first time in the history of the event as the trio of Sven Kramer, Patrick Roest and Marcel Bosker finished three seconds behind the USA in the race for bronze.

There was better news from the snowboarding event, where Niek van der Velden and Melissa Peperkamp both exceeded expectations to finish sixth in their respective Big Air competitions.

Van der Velden, 21, competing in his second Olympics, was in third place after the first two jumps after several of his competitors had fallen.

With the worst of the three performances deducted from the score, Van der Velden tried a more ambitious manoeuvre to secure a medal but lost his footing on landing.

He said: ‘My plan for the last round was to step up a gear, but I had so much going on in my head it didn’t work out. But I’m so happy and so proud of what I showed out there.’

Chinese teenager Su Yiming sent the home fans into raptures by winning his country’s first snowboarding gold medal.

Peperkamp, 17, was fifth after the first two rounds and slipped just one place as she opted for less challenging jumps than the top contenders. ‘It couldn’t have gone better,’ she said.

The gold medal went to Anna Gasser of Austria, who retained her title from four years ago.

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