Men's 500m Speedskating Sees Back-to-Back Olympic Records

The Dutch swept the unpredictable event at the in 2014 but didn't medal in 2018

South Korean speedskater Cha Min-Kyu set an Olympic record in his men's 500m race at the Olympic Oval in Gangneung Monday, but it was only good enough for  silver — in the next race, Norway's Havard Lorentzen managed to finish 0.01 seconds faster, in 34.41 seconds, and took gold.

China's Gao Tingyu took bronze.

The prior Olympic record was set back in 2002 by American Casey Fitzrandolph.

The 500m was one of the most intriguing events at the Pyeongchang Winter Games, due to its unpredictability.

Like all other individual events, the 500m was raced only once in Pyeongchang, marking a change since Sochi. Between the Nagano and Sochi games, skaters raced the 500m twice and the results were based on the total time of the two races.

The Dutch swept this event at the in 2014, but the reigning Olympic gold medalist wasn't back to defend his title. Due to the extremely deep Dutch contingent, Michel Mulder finished sixth at Dutch trials, falling short of a spot.

The Netherlands would end up without a medal of any kind Monday, with the top Dutch skater, Ronald Mulder — Michel's twin — finishing seventh. The 500m is only the second speedskating event at the Pyeongchang Games in which the Dutch didn't win a medal.

The reigning world champion, Jan Smeekens, didn't manage to take the gold he thought was his four years ago, when he saw his name flash across the results board in first place, only to be moved into second place moments later, likely the result of a faulty leg responder. He finished in 10th Monday.

Of the three Americans, Mitch Whitmore had the best time, finishing in 15th place.

Also on the long track speedskating oval Monday: the women's team pursuit quarterfinals. The dominating Dutch set an Olympic record with their time of 2:55.61, while the Americans' fourth-place finish qualified them for a semifinal against the Netherlands on Wednesday.

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