Irene Schouten, from the Netherlands, won her third gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. She was chasing down Ivanie Blondin of Canada to win the women’s mass start.
Schouten was the star of the Winter Games’ final speedkating event with , a furious push that saw her overtake Blondin.
Blondin took the lead at the backstraight but Schouten surged back to win the race by 0.06 seconds.
The winner declared, “It’s incredible.” “I feel out of corners I have a lot more speed, because I’m always fast on the last straight. I was confident that I could beat her.
Schouten let loose a scream when she crossed the stripe. This was after she won the 3,000- and 5,000-meter races. She won two events of speedskating in Beijing, the first and the last, with a clever bookend.
Schouten stated, “I’m so glad.” “I worked very, really hard. As a child, my dream was to win an Olympic gold medal. It’s incredible to be able to do it three more times.
Bart Swings made history by winning the men’s mass-start to make Belgium history. He was the first individual Winter Olympic gold medalist from his country, having previously won its only gold medal in pairs figure skating in 1948.
Swings stated, “I always want the bar to be raised to the next level.”
The American team had a disappointing final day at the oval.
Joey Mantia won the bronze medal in men’s racing by a single blade . The 36-year old Floridian claimed that he was grabbed and slapped by another skater. This cost him his second gold medal at the Beijing Games.
Mia Manganello Kilburg was fourth in the women’s races and matched Mantia.
Blondin won the silver in addition to the gold she received as part of team pursuit. Francesca Lollobrigida of Italy won the bronze. This is her second Olympic medal after winning silver in the 3,000.
Blondin believed she had the gold medal when she swept past Schouten in just half a lap.
Blondin suggested that maybe she was a bit too eager. Blondin said that he should have been more patient. But it’s a mass start. It’s impossible to predict what might happen. Irene has been so strong over the past few weeks that it’s an honor to be second to her.”
Swings won a silver medal at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics in the frenetic race — the only single speedskating event with head-to–head competition in a pack-style format, rather than racing against the clock in lanes.
He said, “After silver comes Gold.” “Once you have the medal, you will know how badly you want it again.”
There was a lot of grabbing and pushing, as well as some unexpected falls.
Nana Takagi, the Olympic champion, fell again during her semifinal heat. This was a repeat of the tumble that she took to lose Japan the gold medal in team pursuit.
Marijke Groenewoud, the reigning world champion, was eliminated in the semifinals as well as the final. After the first mishap, she was able get up and continue to qualify for the medal race.
She finished 11th after going down again.
It’s a crazy race but it’s so much fun for me. The mass start is my favorite. Blondin stated that it is his favorite race. It’s almost like roller derby out there.
The other men’s gold medals went to South Korea. Chung Jae Won won the silver, while Olympic champion Lee Seung Hoon was awarded bronze.
Mantia, who is a three-time champion at the world, posted the time initially as Lee. The replay revealed that the South Korean skater’s tip crossed the line just ahead Mantia’s blade. This gave him the bronze medal by 0.001 seconds.
Mantia claimed Lee grabbed Lee as he raced towards the line. However, no infraction was called.
Mantia stated, “I feel like a cheat.” “I did a little slip in the last corner but it was still a medal-worthy performance for me.”
The Netherlands once again won the speedkating medal table. They finished with six golds, and 12 overall medals. The United States ended with three medals, their best performance since 2010.
Two speed skating greats said farewell to their sport in the mass start races.
Sven Kramer, a Dutchman, was last in the men’s final. He set the pace early but dropped back as the competitors turned the speed on the 16-lap race.
The Dutch star, aged 35, finished his Olympic career with nine medals including four golds. After Beijing, he had already declared his retirement.
Claudia Pechstein, a German woman, won the women’s final three days before her 50th. She finished ninth after taking points in an interval sprint.
Pechstein answered the question, “I haven’t made a decision.” It’s difficult to imagine her competing for four more years.
Pechstein was the first female female winter athlete to carry the flag of Germany at the opening ceremony for her eighth Olympics. In a career that included a doping ban, she has won five golds and nine silver medals.