Saturday’s Short Track Speed Skating program Gangneung Ice Arena makes up for more exciting competition in the ladies’ 1500m and the men’s 1000m. The Ladies will start with the heats and skate all the way to the final, while the men already finished their heats on Tuesday. They will skate the quarter, semi and finals on Saturday.
Hong Zhang (CHN) handed China the first speed skating gold, when she won the ladies’ 1000m in Sochi four years ago. This time around, she’s not high up the list of favorites. Her preparations for PyeongChang 2018 have been plagued by a long struggle to overcome the pain she feels in her knees.
Esmee Visser (NED) came, saw and conquered in the ladies’ 5000m at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Friday. The 22-year-old held two-fold Olympic champion Martina Sáblíková (CZE) off a third consecutive title in a track record time of 6:50.23. The 30-year-old Czech took silver and Natalia Voronina (OAR) grabbed bronze.
Reigning Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan left no doubt in the Men’s Short Program on Friday at Gangneung Ice Arena that he is back and determined to defend his title. Spain’s two-time World Champion Javier Fernandez and World silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan are not far behind in second and third place, heading into the Free Skating on Saturday.
Martina Sáblíková (CZE) is going for a third consecutive Olympic 5000m title at the Gangneung Olympic Oval on Friday February 16. The Czech endurance specialist could become the second lady to win this event three times in a row after Claudia Pechstein (GER), who took gold in 1994-2002.
Ted-Jan Bloemen grabbed the first non-Dutch speed skating gold in a new Olympic 10000m record of 12:39.77 at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games. The Canadian world record holder caused a big upset in the Dutch camp, when he kept Sven Kramer (NED) off the only title he missed, and still misses, in his trophy cabinet.
The Men’s event at the Olympic Winter Games looks wide open and the battle between the “quad kings” should be fierce. All top contenders have multiple quadruple jumps planned and they will need them to get on to the podium in PyeongChang.
In an exciting Olympic Pairs final, Germany’s Aljona Savchenko / Bruno Massot soared to gold at Gangneung Ice Arena on Thursday, edging world champions Wenjing Sui / Cong Han of China by just 0.43 points to win the first Olympic pair skating gold for Germany in 66 years. Canada’s Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford earned the bronze medal.
Canada’s Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir added another Olympic gold medal to their impressive repertoire, coming out on top in a spectacular Olympic Ice Dance event at Gangneung Ice Arena on Tuesday. Two-time World Champions Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron of France earned the silver medal in their Olympic debut and Maia Shibutani / Alex Shibutani (USA) claimed the bronze.
The 10,000m gold is the last major omission in Sven Kramer’s (NED) trophy cabinet. It’s the event he should have won twice, but never did. The 31-year-old Dutchmen is on a mission at PyeongChang 2018, but it is not going to be a walk in the park on Thursday night.
Jorien ter Mors (NED) maintained her perfect Olympic Speed Skating record, seizing gold in the ladies’ 1000m on Wednesday. Favorite Nao Kodaira (JPN), who won three World Cup 1000m races this season, had to settle for silver and her compatriot Miho Takagi added a bronze to Monday’s 1500m silver.
Reigning World Champions Wenjing Sui/Cong Han of China edged European Champions Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (OAR) for a narrow lead in the Pairs Short Program at Gangneung Ice Arena on Wednesday. Two-time World Champions Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford of Canada follow in third place in an excellent event that included many personal best performances.
After having won all 1500m World Cup races in which she started, Miho Takagi (JPN) was the red-hot favorite to win the distance at PyeongChang 2018, but record champion Ireen Wüst (NED) edged her out by 0.2 seconds on Monday. The 23-year-old Japanese was left with silver, but her Olympic campaign is far from over yet.
Three wins in four World Cup races and a world record in Salt Lake City. Nao Kodaira (JPN) is the clear-cut favorite for the Ladies’ 1000m at the Gangneung Olympic Oval on Wednesday. Competition will be tough, however and anything can happen.