Defending Olympic champion Jorrit Bergsma had to be content with the silver medal in the men’s 10 kilometre speed skating event on Thursday, even though he set a new Olympic record during his heat.
The gold went to Ted-Jan Bloemen of Canada in a time of 12.39.77, just under that of Bergsma and, therefore, a second new Olympic record of the event. The bronze went to Italy’s Nicola Tumolero.
Sven Kramer finished a disappointing sixth. ‘I felt from the word go that things were not right,’ the 31-year-old told broadcaster NOS after the race. ‘I’ve done everything I could for years, but it just was not good enough.’
Olympic gold in the 10 kilometre race is the only major title to elude Kramer, who finished second to Bergsma in Sochi and was disqualified in Vancouver for a wrong lane change.
The Canadian win does have a distinctly Dutch tinge. Bloemen, who came second to Kramer in the 5,000 metres, was born in Gouda but moved to Canada to compete for the Canadian national team in 2014 – he was able to compete for Canada because his father is a dual national.
The 10 kilometre race is the only one of the speed skating events of the tournament so far in which the Netherlands has not taken the gold medal.