Updated: Sunday, 23 February 2014 02:24 | By Agence France-Presse

It's double Dutch for dominant Netherlands in speed skating

Fittingly, the seats at Sochi's Adler Arena are orange. It's the stadium where the Dutch Olympic speed skaters have ruthlessly crushed all-comers.


It's double Dutch for dominant Netherlands in speed skating

L-R: Netherlands' gold medalists Jan Blokhuijsen, Sven Kramer and Koen Verweij pose during the Men's Speed Skating Team Pursuit Medal Ceremony at the Adler Arena during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 22, 2014 - by Jung Yeon-Je

The competition ended on Saturday with the men's and women's teams cavorting on top of the podium after golds in both team pursuit events.

The Dutch take home an incredible 23 medals out of the total of 36 on offer -- and eight golds out of 12. Poland are next on the list with a mere three medals.

With record after record tumbling, the Netherlands is the first country to win eight gold medals in a sport at a single Winter Games. They won a medal in all 12 events.

First up on Saturday were the men, whose team of Jan Blokhuijsen,  Koen Verweij and Sven Kramer saw off the South Koreans in an Olympic record time of 3min 37.71sec.

The women were even more impressive, smashing the Olympic record twice on the final day of competition.

Ireen Wust, Jorien ter Mors and Marrit Leenstra skated 2min 58.05sec in the final, destroying Poland by more than seven seconds.

Wust, who has won five medals at the Sochi Games, now has eight career Olympic medals -- the most Winter Games medals for a Dutch athlete.

"We have a lot of great skaters. There's a lot of high-level competition and that is why we keep improving," she said.

Ter Mors put the success down to graft.

"We train very hard. We are always focused, and if you do that, then this is the reward."

"It's always very nice to win a medal with a team," she added. "Here we practised every morning. We really tried to skate and work together as a team."

- 'Best we've ever skated' -

Blokhuijsen said the men's team had sacrificed their individual programmes for the past four years in the search for success.

"This was an amazing race, the best we've ever skated, the three of us," he said.

"This is my first gold and now I want an individual gold," he added. "In four years I hope we can dominate sport like we did this time."

Koen Verweij, who took silver in the men's 1,500m, said: "This is what we have worked for, so it makes me really happy."

"For me personally it has been a difficult two weeks, especially after just missing out on gold in the 1,500m. But this is just great."

"We live for the sport, we work very well together. We give everything. This is just our thing."

Kramer, who took gold in the 5,000m, won his seventh Olympic medal, surpassing Rintje Ritsma as the man with the most medals for the Netherlands at the Winter Olympics.

"It's a relief," he said. "It took us three Olympic Games to win the team pursuit, so I'm happy we finally won it. It was our best race ever."

But despite the victory there was discord in the Dutch ranks with substitute Jorrit Bergsma choosing not to take part in the celebrations after he was left out of the line-up on Friday and Saturday.

When asked about Bergsma's no-show, Blokhuijsen said: "Jorrit who? He was not here, that's all I know. I did it with these guys and have done it with these guys for two years."

South Korea's Lee Seung-Hoon, silver medallist in the men's team pursuit, was all too aware of Dutch power.

"Of course we knew the Dutch would be champions. They had to work hard at winning gold."

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