Dutch speed skater Marianne Timmer ends career

28th December 2010, Comments 0 comments


Marianne Timmer has ended her career effective immediately. The Dutch speed skater made her decision one day after leaving the Dutch National Sprint & Allround Championship in the Thialf stadium in the town of Heerenveen.

The three-fold Olympic champion fell ill ahead of the tournament and clearly lacked the power to compete for the first three places. As the event was also a selection match, it was not clear whether Timmer would be able to compete in other tournaments later this season.

Timmer initially intended to end her speed skating career after this season but has now decided to do this effective immediately. "I have always been independent and wish to remain so until the very end. I'm taking the honourable way out."

Achievements Timmer 36 is a three-fold Olympic champion. She won gold in the women's 1,000m and 1,500m in Nagano in 1998. Eight years later she won another Olympic gold medal in the women's 1000m at the Turin winter games. In 2004 she became the only Dutch woman ever to win the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships for Women.

The skating diva initially intended to end her career after the 2010 Vancouver winter Olympics but failed to qualify due to breaks in her heel bone sustained in a crash after Chinese skater Jing Yu fell in front of her during a 500 meter race in November 2009. Timmer then decided to extend her career by one year until after the ISU World Single Distance Championships in Inzell in March.

However, her meagre performance at the Dutch National Sprint & Allround Championship cast doubt on whether Timmer would be able to qualify for Inzell. After the women's 500m, she left the Thialf stadium via the back door and one day later decided to end her skating career.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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