Norway wins men's team pursuit gold

Norway have won their first team pursuit gold medal after defeating South Korea. "It's amazing. It's a real ...

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 5:23 PM
Updated: Feb 21, 2018 5:23 PM

Norway have won their first team pursuit gold medal after defeating South Korea.

"It's amazing. It's a real team effort for many, many years," Havard Bokko said to the media. "It finally paid off today and we skated our best team pursuit ever."

In the final, Norway had to not only race against the Lee Seung-Ho and co. , but also against the lively home fans. South Korean speed skaters have been boosted by the energetic home crowd throughout the Games.

Norway shocked the gold medal favorite Dutch team in the semifinal, breaking the Olympic record. 

Historically, Norway is a speed skating powerhouse, but have struggled in the sport recently. Prior to PyeongChang, Norway had only won one speed skating medal in the last three Olympics, but have won two in 2018. In addition to team pursuit gold Sverre Lunde Pedersen also won a bronze in the 5000m.

"We are back and we are one of the strongest teams ever. We are doing very well and I am so proud of being part of this team," Sindre Henriksen said after the race.

The silver medal is the host nation's ninth medal of these Games, with all but one coming in speed skating or short track.

Joining Korean speed skating legend Lee Seung Hoon in the team pursuit were teenagers Kim Min-Seok (18) and Chung Jae-Won (16). Lee will turn 30-years-old in March, so he could return to defend South Korea's title in 2022 with Kim and Chung. 

"It's my first Olympics, I'm really proud of this medal. My teammates helped me to fix my mistakes, which I'm really thankful (for)," Chung said to the media. "It's good experience. In order to continue, I want to do a good job in Beijing (2022 Olympic Winter Games) as well."

Dutch skater Jan Blokhuijsen appeared to suffer a minor skate malfunction in the second to last lap of the semifinal that slowed the team down.

"I’ve been there myself. It’s like skating on one leg. I think he skated very well despite that, however, but it’s annoying," Sven Kramer said to the media. "Let alone, that Norway skated a fantastic time, I don’t say that we would have beaten them, but it doesn’t help of course."

The Netherlands comfortably handled New Zealand in the bronze medal race. Although rotations are allowed from round to round in the team pursuit, New Zealand only brought three skaters, and as a result ran out of gas against the Dutch. 

New Zealand led South Korea throughout the semifinal, but the Koreans rallied in the final lap to win the matchup.

The U.S. competed in the Final D, sealing eighth in the event. 

10,000m bronze medalist, Nicola Tumolero (ITA), suffered an injury following the C Final and had to receive medical attention. 

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