Skater loses gold at world allround championships with stunning fall

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AMSTERDAM (AP) — In a stunning finish to the world allround speed skating championships, Dutchman Patrick Roest won the title Sunday after Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway fell in the closing 10,000m race as he was on track for a convincing overall victory.

Video is here.

Roest was some eight seconds behind Pedersen ahead of the 10,000m and, thanks to Pedersen’s fall around 6500m, finished the grueling finale more than 15 seconds faster than the Norwegian.

Pedersen picked himself up off the ice at the temporary, outdoor oval at Amsterdam’s 1928 Olympic Stadium and still managed to come back to beat nine-time allround champion Sven Kramer in their head-to-head battle to finish second overall.

But he lost so much time that a title that was his for the taking slipped through his fingers and went to Roest.

Afterward, Pedersen sat at the side of the oval with his head in his hands as Kramer gave him a consoling pat on the back.

“I am almost never falling,” Pedersen said. “I don’t know what to say.

“What can I say? It’s a pity for all of us that something like this happens. But that’s how it is.”

In a changing of the guard, Pedersen’s fall handed the allround title to Roest, Kramer’s 22-year-old teammate and training partner.

“I can’t believe it,” Roest said. “Of course it’s a shame that Sverre fell. You wouldn’t wish that on him. But it’s very cool to be world champion allround.”

Dutchman Marcel Bosker took third place in the overall standings. Kramer finished fourth after skating 14:05.70 in the 10,000m, his slowest time in that event by more than 20 seconds in more than a decade on the top senior international level.

“I did not feel well physically this weekend,” Kramer said, according to the International Skating Union.

Kramer was going for his record-extending 10th straight world allround title (not counting the editions he missed in 2011 and 2014).

On Saturday, Miho Takagi became the first Japanese woman to win a world allround title after beating defending champion Ireen Wust in a thrilling 1500m.

The 1500m win was partial revenge for Takagi, who was relegated to silver by Wust over the same distance at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

“I am very, very happy,” Takagi said. “I am proud.”

The world title capped a great season for Takagi, who won an Olympic gold medal in the team pursuit when Japan beat the Netherlands in the final.

“She has shown all season that she’s really good,” Wust said. “She has more speed than me.”

Wust won the closing 5000m to finish second overall, falling just short in her chase for a seventh allround title. Countrywoman Annouk van der Weijden ended third.

The championships are a test of skaters’ all-around prowess, with races over 500m, 1500m, 3000m and 5000m for women and 500m, 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m for men. They have been held officially since 1893.

They also were a test of how they coped with warm and rainy conditions that left puddles all over the oval at a championships being staged outdoors for the first time since 2001.

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Best Actress shouts out Chloe Kim as Olympians take over Oscars

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“I think this is what Chloe Kim must have felt like after doing back-to-back 1080s.”

Best Actress winner Frances McDormand capped an Academy Awards night with several Olympian attendees, including the first Olympic gold medalist to win an Oscar, by shouting out the teenage halfpipe champion.

Kim watched.

In other Olympian Oscar news, Kobe Bryant became the first gold medalist to win an Oscar (“Dear Basketball,” based on Bryant’s retirement announcement, for Best Animated Short Film), according to @OlympicStatman.

Norwegian Johann Olav Koss, the speed skater who won three Olympic gold medals with three world records at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Games, held the Best Documentary Oscar won by “Icarus,” the film about Russian doping and whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov.

Best Supporting Actress went to Allison Janney, who played the mother of disgraced two-time Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in the dark comedy biopic “I, Tonya.”

PyeongChang Olympians in attendance included Lindsey VonnMirai Nagasu and Adam RipponGus Kenworthy attended the Elton John AIDS Foundation viewing party along with Miley Cyrus.

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HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 04: Adam Rippon (L) and Mirai Nagasu attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 04: Lindsey Vonn attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

U.S. women’s speed skating wins first medal in 16 years

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Heather Bergsma and Brittany Bowe were able to salvage what has been a disappointing 2018 Games with a bronze medal in the team pursuit.

The U.S. burst out to an early lead against the Canadians, leading by 3.35 seconds at the halfway mark, but with two laps left slowed down substantially to open the door for Canada. In the final curve Mia Manganello almost fell, but was able to regain her balance to finish.

It is the first Olympic women’s speed skating medal since 2002 for the U.S., when Jennifer Rodriguez took home bronze in the 1500m.


Gold: Japan

Silver: Netherlands

Bronze: United States

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