Former Dutch speed skater wins U.S. Olympic Trials 3000m

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Carlijn Schoutens, who competed for the Netherlands until 2014, won the U.S. Olympic Trials 3000m to become the first speed skater to make the PyeongChang team.

Schoutens, born in the U.S. but raised in the Netherlands by Dutch parents, clocked 4:14.02 to clinch her first Olympic berth.

Mia Manganello, who came out of a six-year retirement to try and make her first Olympic team, was second in 4:15.73.

The U.S. can only send one woman to the Olympics in the 3000m, meaning Manganello is out of luck in her best event. She still has a shot in the 1500m, 5000m and mass start later this week.

Schoutens, 23, is the top U.S. woman in the 3000m this World Cup season, ranking 13th, after suffering from concussion effects for about a year between 2015 and 2016.

She was a national junior medalist for the dominant Dutch before switching to the U.S. in 2014 while in medical school.

“I was looking to find a different training team for my sport, and I decided to include American options into my search,” said Schoutens, who continued her studies from long distance in Utah. “I came in contact with [U.S. coach] Matt Kooreman, and after Skyping with him a couple of times, I made up my mind.”

The U.S., not strong in distance races recently, last won an Olympic 3000m medal in 1980 (Beth Heiden‘s bronze).

The U.S. is strongest in the 1000m and 1500m. Those Olympic Trials races are later this week.

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