Irene Schouten ends an impressive career with a win in the Marathon Cup final

Irene Schouten gave herself a fitting and honorable farewell at the final of the Marathon Cup. The skater from Hoogkarspel was the fastest in the bunch sprint after eighty laps on the Leeuwarden ice rink. She stayed ahead of Esther Kiel and Elsemieke van Maaren.

“Winning, it couldn’t be better,” Schouten said afterwards to NOS. She announced almost two weeks ago that she would stop skating. She rode to three world titles and a silver medal at the World Championships in Calgary.

Lap of Honor

She said goodbye to the audience in Heerenveen last week with a lap of honor. After the first day of the National Championships all-round and the National Championships sprint, she was thanked by a full Thialf for her glorious career. The North Holland native received, among other things, the Golden Pin from the KNSB skating association as a token of appreciation. Her name was also unveiled on the ring of honor of the ice stadium.

Schouten admitted that the focus in the past period had not necessarily been on training. “Of course I had done a little bit. But if you do very little, you actually get in shape,” she laughed. “I noticed that last week during training. Skating went really well. I rode really well. Leeuwarden always has a good ice surface, so this was fine.”