For the second time in these Sochi Olympics, the Netherlands have pulled off a sweep in speedskating.
Michel Mulder (pictured) earned the men’s 500m gold medal by one one-hundredth of a second over teammate Jan Smeekens, with Michel’s twin brother, Ronald, claiming the bronze (+0.15 seconds). 2010 Olympic champion Mo Tae-Bum finished off the podium in fourth (+0.38 of a second).
The first Olympic win for the Dutch in the men’s 500m comes two days after the men blitzed the 5000m event, with Sven Kramer, Jan Blokhuijsen, and Jorrit Bergsma taking first, second and third. Additionally, Ireen Wust contributed her own gold in the women’s 3000m yesterday.
In a precursor to his bid for Winter Olympic history later this week, U.S. speedskater Shani Davis got started in Sochi with a 24th-place finish.
That was enough to lead the American trio that competed in the event, with Tucker Fredricks and Mitchell Whitmore winding up 26th and 27th respectively.
Davis used the 500m to prepare himself for Wednesday’s 1000m, in which he’ll attempt to become the first American man to claim three Winter Olympic golds in the same individual event (snowboarder Shaun White has a chance to do the same one day before on Tuesday in the halfpipe competition).
MEN’S SPEED SKATING – 500m
1. Michel Mulder (NED), 69.31
2. Jan Smeekens (NED), 69.32
3. Ronald Mulder (NED), 69.46
24. Shani Davis (USA), 70.98
26. Tucker Fredricks (USA), 70.999
27. Mitchell Whitmore (USA), 71.06