Jorien ter Mors

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Another Dutch speed skater won’t defend Olympic title

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The Netherlands won six of the 10 individual speed skating events in Sochi. Half of those gold medalists won’t defend their titles in PyeongChang.

Jorien ter Mors, who won the 1500m in Sochi and at the 2016 Worlds, was fifth in that event at the Dutch Olympic Trials on Friday.

Ter Mors, who doubles in short track, made the Olympic team earlier this week by winning the 1000m, but she won’t be skating the 1500m in February.

Ireen WuestLotte van Beek and Marrit Leenstra took the Olympic 1500m spots on Friday.

Wuest, van Beek and Leenstra finished second, third and fourth in the Sochi Olympic 1500m behind Ter Mors in an extraordinary display of Dutch skating dominance.

For PyeongChang, a nation can’t enter more than three skaters per individual event.

Other Dutch gold medalists from Sochi who won’t defend their Olympic titles are Stefan Groothuis, the 1000m champ who retired last year, and Michel Mulder, who was sixth in the 500m at trials.

The Dutch Olympic team should still be strong. It won eight of 14 events at last season’s world championships at the PyeongChang Olympic venue.

American Heather Bergsma edged Wuest in the 1500m at worlds by .11, but Japan’s Miho Takagi won all four World Cup 1500m races this fall.

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MORE: Broadcast schedule for all U.S. Olympic Trials

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Brittany Bowe, Heather Richardson-Bergsma upset at World Championships

Brittany Bowe
AP
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Brittany Bowe and Heather Richardson-Bergsma are the two fastest women’s speed skaters in the 1000m all time, but the Netherlands’ Jorien ter Mors was faster on Friday.

Shani Davis, a two-time Olympic 1000m champion, also finished fifth in the 1500m, behind Russian winner Denis Yuskov.

Ter Mors, the Olympic 1500m champion, upset the Americans in the shorter event at the World Single Distance Championships in Kolomna, Russia.

Ter Mors clocked 1:14.73 in an early pair and then nervously watched, her hands gripping her face, as Richardson-Bergsma and Bowe skated in the final two pairs.

Richardson-Bergsma, the world-record holder for eight days until Bowe snatched it Nov. 22, crossed the finish line in 1:14.94 in the penultimate pair.

Then came Bowe, winner of four of the last five World Cup 1000m races. The former Florida Atlantic University basketball player clocked 1:15.01.

Richardson-Bergsma and Bowe earned silver and bronze, respectively. In 2015, Bowe took gold and Richardson-Bergsma silver.

Full results are here.

Bowe and Richardson-Bergsma, who combined to sweep the 500m, 1000m and 1500m World titles last year, could share the podium again in the 500m on Saturday and the 1500m on Sunday.

Bowe and Richardson-Bergsma were part of a disappointing, medal-less U.S. speed skating showing at the Sochi Winter Olympics. The best individual finish between the two was seventh in Sochi.

They’ve dominated since. In the 1000m alone, the Americans combined to win 10 of the last 11 World Cup races.

On the first day of Worlds on Thursday, the Netherlands’ Sven Kramer took the 10,000m and the Czech Republic’s Martina Sablikova captured the 3000m.

Kramer, 29, earned his 16th career World Single Distance Championships title, doubling the number of the No. 2 man all time, Davis. All 17 World champions in the 10,000m have been Dutch.

Sablikova, who reportedly qualified for the Rio Olympics in road cycling, earned her 11th career World Single Distance Championships title. She’s one behind retired German Anni Friesinger-Postma for the women’s record.

MORE: Two years to Pyeongchang: Updates on Sochi Olympic medalists