Wust wins 3,000 meters at Dutch trials

12/28/2009 - Olympic Sports

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands -- Olympic 3,000-meter speedskating champion Ireen Wust of the Netherlands qualified Monday to defend her title at the Vancouver Olympics.

Wust earned her second starting place for the Feb. 12-28 Winter Games by winning the Dutch trials over 3,000 meters in 4 minutes, 6.80 seconds at Thialf Ice Stadium. She qualified for the 1,500 on Sunday.

"I felt good and relaxed," Wust said. "I was in control of my race."

In the only men's race Monday, Stefan Groothuis and Simon Kuipers both qualified for the 1,000 meters race in Vancouver.

Groothuis won the 1,000 in 1:08.50, just 0.11 seconds off Shani Davis' track record. Kuipers was second, 0.02 seconds behind Groothuis to assure himself of a ticket to Canada.

The exact makeup of the Dutch squad for Vancouver will not be known until all events have been raced at the four-day trials and a second round of qualifiers next month.

Injured 1,000-meter Olympic champion Marianne Timmer is hoping to qualify for the Dutch team in January after recovering from a serious injury that has put her participation in Vancouver in doubt.

Timmer, a three-time Olympic speedskating champion, broke several bones in her foot when she fell and slammed into crash barriers at a World Cup meet in November after her opponent, Chinese skater Jing Yu, fell in front of her.

Timmer returned to the ice last week for the first time since her crash.