Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press
Shani Davis wanted to win his third gold medal in the 1,000-meter race in speedskating, but the speed and power that had carried him to gold in Turin and Vancouver was gone from his legs.
The 31-year-old Davis had to settle for eighth place in his favorite event.
Davis appeared to be on track through the first 200 meters, but he did not assert himself in the next 400 meters. He was skating from behind and had little to offer in the final lap. He could only shake his head as he finished the race well back in the pack.
While it was bad news for Davis and his American teammates, it was once again great news for the Dutch skaters. Stefan Groothuis won the race with a time of 1 minute, 8.39 seconds, which was good enough to edge out Canadian Denny Morrison, who recorded an impressive time of 1:08.43.
Dutch skater Michel Mulder took home the bronze medal, crossing the line in 1:08.74. It's been a spectacular showing for Mulder, who earlier won gold in the 500-meter speedskating sprint.
Americans Brian Hansen and Joey Mantia finished ninth and 15th, respectively.
Gold: Stefan Groothuis, Netherlands
Silver: Denny Morrison, Canada
Bronze: Michel Mulder, Netherlands
Last updated by Steve Silverman.
Shaun White had a chance to make history on Tuesday as the first U.S. Olympian to win three straight golds in one event, but he failed. Now it's time for Shani Davis to try.
Davis, the top American speedskater, won the gold medal in the 1,000 meters in Turin and Vancouver. Now 31 and likely in his final Olympics, he's the favorite for the three-peat. However, we've learned throughout these Olympics how difficult it truly is to defend a title, let alone win three in a row.
Michel Mulder of the Netherlands, who won the gold in the 500 meters, is the biggest threat to take over Davis' crown, though the entire Dutch speedskating team is incredibly strong and has been dominating the Sochi Games so far.
American Brian Hansen is a threat to make it onto the podium—in fact, the Associated Press has predicted that he will get the bronze. Denis Kuzin of Kazakhstan, who nearly retired from the sport when he had a bad shoulder injury in 2012, is one to watch as well.
Gold: Michel Mulder, Netherlands
Silver: Shani Davis, United States
Bronze: Denis Kuzin, Kazakhstan