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.
MORE: NBCOlympics.com Slideshow of today’s men’s 500m speedskating event
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
Yevgenia Medvedeva followed up her world title with a personal-best short program in her Grand Prix season debut, taking the lead at Skate Canada in Mississauga, Ontario, on Friday.
Medvedeva, a 16-year-old Russian, landed all of her jumps cleanly and tallied 76.24 points, bettering her previous high of 74.58 from last season’s Grand Prix Final.
She leads by 1.91 points over Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond. Russian Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, the 2015 World champion, is in third place, 9.45 points behind.
American Mirai Nagasu fell on her opening triple flip and is in ninth place out of 11 skaters. Full results are here.
Medvedeva is the youngest world champion since Tara Lipinski in 1997 and hasn’t lost in nearly one year.
Medvedeva’s short program score Friday was 6.74 points higher than world silver medalist Ashley Wagner‘s total from Skate America last week.
Later in pairs, two-time world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada lapped the field by 8.96 points with a personal-best 78.39. Americans Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier were fourth.
The short dance and men’s short program are later Friday. The free skates are all Saturday. A full broadcast and streaming schedule is here.
NBC and the NBC Sports app will air Skate Canada coverage Sunday from 5-6 p.m. ET.
MORE: Lipinski, Weir back Gold’s comments about weight
Boston College’s Madeline Adams dropped to the ground during the final meters of the ACC Cross-Country Championships on Friday.
What happened next was reminiscent of one of the most memorable Rio Olympic track and field moments.
Clemson’s Evie Tate stopped and helped Adams up at the Cary, N.C., 6k race. Then, Louisville’s Rachel Pease did the same. Tate and Pease each took one of Adams’ arms and dragged her to the finish.
Pease would end up 127th and Tate 128th out of 131 finishers. Adams was disqualified. Full results are here.
Tate was running around 70th or 80th place when she stopped, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times, which means her aid ended up costing Clemson about 10 points in the team scores.
Clemson was sixth, 23 points behind fifth-place Syracuse, so Tate’s act of sportsmanship actually didn’t change the Tigers’ placing. NC State won, Louisville was fourth and Boston College 12th.
The scene brought to mind the Rio Olympic women’s 5000m heats, when American Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin fell and then crossed the finish line together.
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