On Tuesday 19 October, the presentation of Team Zaanlander took place in IJsstadion Thialf in Heerenveen. The team, consisting of long track and marathon skaters, presented itself to the public and talked about the goals and ambitions for the coming skating season. New team members Melissa Wijfje, Ids Bouma and Tjerk de Boer were introduced and teammates Irene Schouten and Jorrit Bergsma, among others, talked about their personal goals.
Melissa Wijfje will be in action for Team Zaanlander for the first time this year: "What I like about this team is the combination of long track and marathon skaters. Our coaches Arjan and Jillert ensure that everyone's strengths are used in the right way and that is how we strengthen each other!"
Coach Jillert Anema indicates that there is a clear team goal: "The team goal is always to skate faster than last season. Skating personal records, preferably during important races such as the National Championships and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. In addition to the individual distances, we want to be a determining factor in mass start and marathon parts (including on natural ice). Our ambition is to form a stable team environment in which top skaters develop into world-class athletes."
2022 Winter Olympics
The team is in full training and is preparing, for instance, for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament that takes place from 26 to 30 December. Then it will be announced which team members will be able to represent the Netherlands during the Winter Olympics in Beijing between 4 and 20 February 2022.
The goal of world champion 5 km Irene Schouten is very clear: "My ambition for next season is to qualify myself for the Olympic Games at multiple distances. And then make the most of it in Beijing!"
Team Zaanlander consists of skaters Elisa Dul, Irene Schouten, Maaike Verweij, Marijke Groenewoud, Melissa Wijfje, Ids Bouma, Jordy Harink, Jorrit Bergsma, Jos de Vos, Sjoerd den Hertog, Tjerk de Boer and Victor Ramler. Zaanlander will also feature on the women's marathon suits. The men skate their marathons in Royal A-ware/ZiuZ equipment.