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Olympics

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: Nuis, Krol give Dutch 1-2 finish in men's 1500 speedskating

Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands became the first speedskater since 1994 to successfully defend his Olympic title in the men's 1500 meters

Kjeld Nuis Speedskating
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Kjeld Nuis (Source: Boring Buzz)

By

PTI

Updated: 8 Feb 2022 3:41 PM GMT

Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands became the first speedskater since 1994 to successfully defend his Olympic title in the men's 1,500 meters, edging teammate Thomas Krol at the Beijing Games on Tuesday. Krol, the reigning world champion, broke the 20-year-old Olympic record in his 3 3/4 laps around the Ice Ribbon oval.

The mark didn't last very long. Nuis went even faster in the very next pair, crossing the line with a blistering time of 1 minute, 43.21 seconds. There were still six skaters to go, but no one came close to the Dutch duo. Nuis took his country's third gold in four events in Beijing, while Krol's runner-up finish of 1:43.55 gave the Netherlands a total of six medals in what is shaping up as another rout for the Big Orange Machine.

The bronze went to Kim Minseok of South Korea, who was more than a second behind the winner in 1:44.24. Nuis became the first repeat 1,500 champion since Johann Olav Koss of Norway won his second straight gold at the 1994 Lillehammer Games. The only other back-to-back champions were Clas Thunberg of Finland in 1924 and 1928, and Yevgeny Grishin of the Soviet Union in 1956-1960.


The American team again came up short of its first individual Olympic speedskating medal since 2010. World Cup leader Joey Mantia got off to a strong start but couldn't hold his pace through a race that requires both speed and endurance. He wound up sixth in 1:45.26. Another American, Casey Dawson, competed just hours after arriving in Beijing. Dawson tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago and struggled to meet all the strict protocols required by the host country.

The team traveled to China without him while Dawson remained in Utah to continue his training. Dawson missed the first race on his schedule, the 5,000, but he finally tested negative enough times to make it to Beijing. Not surprisingly, he finished next-to-last out of 29 competitors, but he still gained the admiration of his fellow skaters just by taking the ice. Dawson's main focus is the team pursuit, where the Americans are considered medal contenders.

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