Dutch cyclist defends Olympic gold

18th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

18 August 2004, AMSTERDAM — Cyclist Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel won the first gold medal for the Netherlands at the Athens Olympic Games on Wednesday.

18 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — Cyclist Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel won the first gold medal for the Netherlands at the Athens Olympic Games on Wednesday.

Repeating her performance of four years ago in Sydney, the 34-year-old came first in the women's individual time trial, completing 24 kilometres in 31 minutes and 11.53 seconds.

American Deirdre Dermet came second with a time of 31 minutes and 35.62 seconds. Switzerland's Karin Thuerig took bronze with a time of 31 minutes 54.89 seconds.

Zijlaard-Van Moorsel's participation in the time trial had been in some doubt following an accident earlier on Sunday.

At the beginning of the week, the Dutch media published front-page pictures of her looking dejected as she sat slumped on the road. She had taken a heavy fall after clipping the back wheel of Canada's Lyne Bessette's bike.  The Dutch woman suffered bruising to her shoulder, elbow and hip.

After Wednesday's triumph, Zijlaard-Van Moorsel said she had no words to describe her joy.

She won three gold medals in Sydney in the road race, the individual time trial and the individual pursuit on the track.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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