Ted-Jan Bloemen (CAN) broke Jorrit Bergsma's (NED) recently set Olympic record by more than two seconds to win the 10,000m Olympic gold medal.
"This is the biggest stage we can compete on. If you can win here it's that's the highest you can get. Everything was set for this competition," Bloemen said after the race. "It's been such a long road towards this competition. I was happy with my race."
Bloemen is the first Canadian to win the 10,000m gold. Bloemen was born in the Netherlands, but moved to Canada, where his father was born, in 2014 after he failed to qualify for the Dutch Olympic team in Sochi.
The medal is Bloemen's second of the games in his Olympic debut. Bloemen also captured the silver in the 5000m.
The 10,000m is the first speed skating medal not won by the Dutch.
Sochi gold medalist Bergsma had broken his own Olympic record by over two seconds in the race before Bloemen.
"I'm a little disappointed. I would really like to have won it again. But for today, this was excellent for me," Bergsma said after the race.
Nicola Tumolero (ITA) of Italy surprinsgly earned the bronze with a time of 12:54.32, breaking his own record by over eight seconds.
"This is really unexpected for me. I came into this race with no expectations, I just wanted to do my best," Tumolero said to the media. "I was down after the 5000m, but today I relaxed and I came back for the 10,000m."
Medal favorite Sven Kramer (NED) finished off of the podium. Kramer's struggles with the 10,000m at the Olympics have been well-documented: eight years ago, in gold medal position, he made an illegal lane change at the advice of his coach, and was subsequently disqualified. In Sochi, he was beaten by Bergsma for gold. Kramer has stated that his desire to win gold in the 10,000m as one of the reasons he hasn't ended his storied career.
"I was fighting and I wasn't coming in the flow. I had a pretty hard time,"Kramer said to the media. "I was too much working from the beginning and it didn't come easy. It wasn't good enough and those 25 laps are pretty far."
With a time of 12:55.54, Lee Seung-Hoon (KOR) broke his personal record and the mark he set when he won the 10,000m gold in Vancouver. With ten laps to go Lee flipped a swtich and had an amazing 29-second closing lap as the home crowd motivated him. Lee finished in fourth place, but will be awaiting his best event, the mass start.
“I didn't expect to beat my personal best and will continue to do my best in the team pursuit and mass start," Lee said to the ISU.
Jordan Belchos (CAN) was the first skater to finish under 13:00.0 with a time of 12:59.51.
"I'm absolutely delighted with what I did, Belchos said after the race. "It was the fastest race of my life and it came on the biggest stage. It was great to be in the lead for just a moment but then Lee showed me why he is an Olympic champion."
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