This article was last updated on December 7, 2023
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Insecure, ‘terribly explosive’ Poutsma gains confidence from World Cup success
Short track successes push Poutsma’s insecure side into the background
A lot has happened in the barely two years since the Dutch short track women won Olympic relay gold. Xandra Velzeboer individually became the queen of the sprint, but Selma Poutsma has also emerged as a medal winner.
Back on the Olympic ice in Beijing, where the third World Cup of this season will be held this weekend, Poutsma hopes to continue the trend of the previous World Cup weekend. In Montreal it won twice, with silver in both 500 meters.
“My very first World Cup medals. I was able to apply the steps I took in the summer very well.”
Poutsma decided not only to focus on short track in the summer, she also regularly tried the long track. And she still likes that combination. The 24-year-old short track star participates once or twice a week in the training of Team Reggeborgh, the team of Femke Kok and Kjeld Nuis.
Beijing World Cup live at NOS
The third Short Track World Cup in Beijing, China, can be followed live on Saturday and Sunday via a stream on NOS.nl and in the NOS app. The stream starts at 7:00 am.
Poutsma: “I really enjoy it and I also strive to improve myself on the long track, especially on the 500 meters. It gives me good energy and so far it has not harmed my short track. I think there are technical There are things that I work on on the long track that I can take with me to the short track.”
It means that Poutsma is feeling good this season. And according to national coach Niels Kerstholt, she shows that on the ice. “She has always been fast. But if she feels good, then training, training, training goes well. And then the results, like in the past World Cups, also come easier.”
With the medals also comes confidence, which is not self-evident with Poutsma. While teammates Suzanne Schulting and Velzeboer prove to be true killers on the ice, uncertainty always lurks with Poutsma.
“I am someone who quickly suffers from a lack of self-confidence over small things. Then it helps that I performed well in Montreal. So that it is there somewhere.”
Poutsma: “I often have self-confidence, you know. It gets better with age. I can rely more on the achievements I have achieved, or on good training. I consciously try to take that with me to gain more confidence.”
It is Poutsma through and through. Fast, strong, but averse to bravado. “A modest woman with sprint fibers,” national coach Kerstholt describes her. “She is so terribly explosive. Once she is gone, she just goes.”
Point of improvement
This also brings Kerstholt to an area for improvement. “If she rides freely, or at the head, she rides fast. But if she rides in a group, or behind something, she quickly gets stuck. Then she still has to learn to move, keep space, ride the lines in such a way that they can also overtake. That is the challenge for Selma and we are working on that.”
A modest woman with sprint fibers. Once she’s gone, she just goes.
National coach Niels Kerstholt about Selma Poutsma
During the upcoming World Cup competitions in Beijing and Seoul, Poutsma will try to continue Montreal’s consistent line. That was also a breakthrough for the sprinter. “I have also been able to ride good rides in other years, but it always went through peaks and valleys. And now I was able to participate in two World Cup finals in a row, that is a straight line.”
If Poutsma manages to continue this, she can become a serious challenger to Velzeboer, who dominates the 500 meters. “I think I can definitely compete and get medals as well.”
It would be the ultimate scenario for national coach Kerstholt: Velzeboer, Schulting and Poutsma, three top sprinters who are evenly matched. “You see that Selma can do that. At the moment, Xandra is always just a step further. But if Selma continues like this, she will remain a very big threat and she might even win every now and then.”