Cyprus Mail

Beijing Olympics: Speed skating-Van der Poel wins gold in men’s 10,000m, breaks world record

speed skating men's 10000m
Gold Medallist Nils Van Der Poel of Sweden celebrates after setting a new World Record REUTERS/Phil Noble

Sweden’s Nils van der Poel crossed the finish line in the men’s 10,000 race at the Beijing Olympics to smash his own world record and scoop his second Beijing gold in a breathtaking finish on Friday.

The 25-year-old sped ahead of rivals in ever-faster laptimes, shaving three seconds off the world record he set in the Netherlands a year ago to cross the finish line in 12 minutes and 30.74 seconds.

He started strong and whizzed around the oval widening the gap between himself and rival Dutchman Patrick Roest, building a five second lead and was ahead of the Olympic record by the 3,000m mark.

By the midway point of the race, Van der Poel had a gaping nine-second lead over Roest and he broke his own record time in the final laps of the 10k before skating a blistering last lap that was his fastest of the race.


He crossed the finish line with a look of relief, waving to the cheering crowds.

Roest, who also finished behind Van der Poel in the 5,000m, won silver in 12:44.59, while Italian Davide Ghiotto crossed the finish in 12:45.98 to take bronze.

Van der Poel’s gold marks the first medal in the event for Sweden in 34 years.

“I could not have wished for a better way to win gold and break the world record. It feels great,” Van der Poel said after his race.

“We thought it could work today (the world record). Few are privileged to win like this.”

Defending champion Ted-Jan Bloemen of Canada watched his own Olympic record from Pyeongchang broken by van der Poel, finishing over half a minute behind him in eighth place.

Dutchman Jorrit Bergsma, who won gold in Sochi and silver in Pyeongchang, also missed out on a medal as he slowly fell behind the pace set by compatriot Roest.

“I’m really disappointed,” Bergsma said after his race. “I don’t know why… I was skating really good during training, I was feeling good, but I wasn’t able to put it on the ice today.”

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