- Sochi, Russia
The Speed skating competition at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games continued today with the Men and Ladies’ Team Pursuit Quarter Finals and the Men’s Semifinals.
The team pursuit races started today at the Adler Arena with a replay of the Olympic Final of 2010. The men from Canada beat the US team. The USA finished in a disappointing time. France lost to the Dutch team. Both France and USA will skate the D-final tomorrow.
The Korean team, in a track record less than a second above the Olympic record time, beat Russia and the Polish team beat Norway. Norway was in the lead for most of the race, but the Polish team picked up speed and beat Norway.
Later in the semifinals Olympic Champion Canada met the fastest team of the Korea. Korea was also the fastest in the semifinal although they were slower than before.
Poland faced the Netherlands and knew from the start that it would be hard, to beat them and therefore saved some energy for tomorrow, so that a medal is still a possibility. This time, the Dutch bettered the track record that the Koreans set in the heats, 3:40.79. The Dutch and the Korean team will tomorrow skate the A-final to divide silver and gold, the Polish and Canadian team will battle for bronze.
In the ladies’ races, the Dutch team set a new Olympic record of 2:58.61. Their USA opponents skated their fastest time of the season with 3:02.21. The USA will face Canada in the C-final, as the Canadians had the fastest losing time with 3:02.06 in their race with Russia. Just like in the men’s field, Poland faced Norway, and again, the Norwegians lost. Poland, the 2010 Olympic bronze medalist will meet Russia in the first semifinal. The Japanese were not so fast with 3:03.99, but they had the advantage that the Korean team had the slowest time and consequently the Japanese will face the Netherlands in the second Semifinal tomorrow, whereas Japan and Norway have to race the D-final.