Poland's Zbigniew Brodka barely edged the Netherlands' Koen Verweij to take home gold in the men's 1,500-meter speedskating event.
Brodka finished his run in one minute, 45.006 seconds, finishing .003 seconds ahead of Verweij.
Canada's Denny Morrison earned the bronze for his second medal of the Olympics. He also won a silver in the 1,000-meter race.
Here is a look at the top 10, courtesy of Sochi2014.com:
|Men's Speedskating 1,500-Meter Results|
|7||Brian Hansen||United States||1:45.59|
|8||Sverre Lunde Pedersen||Norway||1:45.66|
The win was a bit unexpected for Brodka, who only finished in sixth place at this event in the World Championships in 2013. However, he came through with a fantastic effort to secure the third gold medal for Poland in Sochi.
On the other hand, this was a disappointing effort for the United States, who once again failed to medal. Brian Hansen finished in seventh place, while Shani Davis only managed 11th.
The American athletes were wearing different suits from earlier in the week after a number of disappointing finishes. The team got approval from the International Olympic Committee to revert back to the suits they wore in the World Cup.
According to the Chicago Tribune's Jared S. Hopkins, U.S. speedskating chief executive Ted Morris said, "We don't think (the suits) are having any impact. But at the same time we want to make sure when our athletes get on that start line they have confidence and are ready to go. That's priority number one."
It now seems like the suits were not the problem as the United States once again failed to medal for the seventh event in a row. The country came home with four medals in Vancouver in 2010, but Darren Rovell of ESPN thinks at least Under Armour benefited from the poor showing:
Davis—who finished 24th in the 500-meter race and eighth in the 1,000-meter event—was clearly disappointed with his earlier performances. According to Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, Davis said after his previous race:
I have to live with this rest of my life. I just had a misfortunate race. ... It might have thrown me off that I opened so fast. I wasn't able to settle in and skate the way I normally would. I have struggled with that in the past, but it was something I never thought would happen under these circumstances.
Unfortunately, he once again fell short of the podium for the third time in these Olympics after appearing to tire down the stretch. The 31-year-old only has the team pursuit remaining on his schedule.
The Netherlands have had no such struggles. Even after the previous success, the squad explained that they were not done winning, per The Associated Press:
It certainly makes it easy to get excited with fans like this:
With five speedskating events remaining, you can assume the Dutch will bring home a few more medals before the closing ceremony, and Verweij in particular figures to have a bright future.
The 23-year-old was competing in his first-ever Olympics, and given his excellent showing so far, you can expect him to build off his silver-medal performance going forward.
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