Sang Hwa Lee defended her Vancouver gold medal in the women's 500-meter in style, setting a new Olympic speedskating record in the event on Tuesday.
Fox Sports News on Twitter shared the results:
Korea's Sang Hwa Lee edges out Russia's Olga Fatkulina in Olympic Record time (37.28) to claim GOLD in women's 500m #Sochi2014— FOX SPORTS News (@FOXSportsNews) February 11, 2014
Lee came through with a combined time of 74.70 seconds in her two runs, edging out Russia's Olga Fatkulina (75.06). Meanwhile, Margot Boer of the Netherlands continued the country's dominance in speedskating events, winning the bronze with a time of 75.48.
The Dutch now have eight medals—including three golds—and all have come in speedskating events.
Heather Richardson was the top competitor for the United States, finishing eighth with a time of 75.75 seconds. Brittany Bowe finished 13th for the United States, while Lauren Cholewinski came in at 15th and Sugar Todd rounded up the United States skaters in 29th.
Here are the full results:
|GOLD||KOR||Sang Hwa Lee||74.70|
|11||NED||Laurine van Riessen||76.99|
|16||NED||Lotte Van Beek||77.40|
|20||KOR||Lee Bo Ra||77.75|
But the day belonged to Lee. Her performance was simply stunning, and she evoked memories of a particularly dynamic Summer Olympics athlete, per Ice Network on Twitter:
""That was the Usain Bolt peformance of the ice track." - World feed announcers on Sang-Hwa Lee's Olympic record showing in 500 #sochi2014— icenetwork (@icenetwork) February 11, 2014
Meanwhile, former Olympian Wilf O’Reilly had nothing but effusive praise for the champion, as he told the BBC:
Lee Sang Hwa was superb out there. She was so far ahead from the start and just needed to stay on her feet, which she did. It is South Korea's first medal at the Games and she pulled through. She has been so strong this year and nobody can beat her.
It was a fabulous performance by Olga Fatkulina, too. She stayed low after the start and worked hard towards the line.
It's hardly surprising that Lee won this race. As Brian Stubits of CBS noted, she had won seven races in a row and was already the world-record holder in the event coming into the Sochi Games. But it was a bit surprising that she set an Olympic record in Sochi, since the ice had generally been regarded as a bit slow, per Stubits.
Of course, the home fans were ecstatic with Fatkulina's performance, as she blazed to a silver medal. The 24-year-old couldn't catch up with Lee, but over the past two Olympics, nobody has. She'll certainly be pleased with her performance.
The skating will now turn to the men's 1,000-meter on Wednesday and the women's 1,000-meter on Thursday. All eyes will be on Shani Davis in the men's event, as he attempts to become the first man to ever win the gold in three straight Olympics.
Richardson is the United States' best chance to medal in the women's 1,000-meter.