Ireen Wuest wins 1500m gold

Ireen Wuest is the most decorated Olympic speed skater with ten medals, surpassing Claudia Pechstein, after winnin...

Posted: Feb 12, 2018 8:10 PM
Updated: Feb 12, 2018 8:10 PM

Ireen Wuest is the most decorated Olympic speed skater with ten medals, surpassing Claudia Pechstein, after winning the 1500m. 

The gold medal is Wuest's second medal of the Games, following her 3000m silver, making her the most decorated Dutch Olympian. 

"It's incredible. It's 12 years since my first gold medal in Turin, my fifth gold medal, my 10th Olympic medal," Wuest said to the media following the race. "I started my own team three years ago with only one goal, win the gold in the Olympics again. It worked out this way and it's incredible."

Wuest also captured the 1500m gold at the Vancouver Games. The last three winners of the event have hailed from the Netherlands.

Next for Wuest is the 1000m on Wednesday Feb.14 at 5:00 a.m. ET. Wuest is the reigning silver medalist in the event. 

Miho Takagi (JPN) and Marrit Leenstra (NED) followed Wuest on the podium. 

"I am very happy but I wanted the gold medal. I was very, very focused today, and I had a good skate," Takagai said to the media.

The Dutch have won 6 of the 9 speed skating medals awarded so far in PyeongChang, building off of their domincance at the 2014 Games. In Sochi, they won 23 of 36 speed skating medals. 

Takagi captured Japan's fourth-ever speed skating medal. Takagi and Nao Kodaira are likely to continue to add to this total in PyeongChang.

American Heather Bergsma finished eigth in the event. 

Bergsma was placed in the final pair with Takagi and was aware of the time required to earn a medal. Bergsma flew out the gate, while Takagi took a more reserved approach, a strategy that would pay off for the Japanese skater.

"Yeah it was a hard last lap. It was difficult going last (pairing) for sure. It was not my best race so I can't be super happy with it," Bergsma said to the media.

Brittany Bowe (USA) held the lead entering the preparation of the ice with a time of 1:55.54, but finished in fifth. In PyeongChang, Bowe shaved almost three seconds off her 1500m time in Sochi. 

U.S. women speed skaters have not won an Olympic medal since Salt Lake City 2002. Bowe and Bergsma will have another chance to snap this streak when they compete in the 1000m.

Mia Manganello (USA) finished in 1:59.93 placing her 22nd in the event. 

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