Winter Olympics 2018 - Speed Skating

Olympics

ByTheMinWinterSports

Hello and welcome everyone to today's coverage of the long distance speed skating. Today we have an exciting one for you in the 10,000m with 12 competitors going for gold!

On the start list we have Pair 1: Tsuchiya (JPN), Swings (BEL) Pair 2: Bokko (NOR), Belchos (CAN) Pair 3: Geisreiter (GER), Lee (KOR) Pair 4: Bergsma (WR HOLDER) (NED), Ghiotto (ITA) Pair 5: Tumolero (ITA), Bloemen (SOCHI WINNER) (OR) (CAN) Pair 6: Beckert (GER), Kramer (5,000m Gold Medalist) (NED)

Already pair one is underway with the Belgian Skater taking a big lead in the opening stages. Earlier in this Olympics he was able to take 6th place in the 5,000m and 1,500m.

His motto of "never give up" took him through the last 4 years after narrowly missing out on an Olympic Medal in Sochi where he got 4th place in the 5,000m. He is now around 8.5 seconds ahead of the Japanese athlete with 4,000m to go.

Meanwhile, Japanese athlete Ryosuke Tsuchiya is dreaming of taking a medal in these games and in 2022. He is also competing against one of his main influences in his life, World Record holder Jorrit Bergsma.

Back inside the stadium, Bart Swings is about to finish his bid for a medal! He begins to struggle with around 2 laps to go but so does the Japanese athlete. They slow considerably as they finally cross the line. A season best for Bart 13:03.53. A National record set by Tsuchiya, 13:10.31!! He has to be happy with that!

Norwegian athlete Bokko and Canadian Belchos begin! Belchos starts blisteringly fast starting with sub-30 second laps! There's no way he can keep going like this for much longer without seriously hurting later on and is already 4.5 seconds up only a fifth into the race. He already begins to slow while Bokko stays with a consistent run around 2.5 seconds back on Bart's run.

As Belchos starts to set the lap times of Bart again you have to remember Bokko knows what he is doing, he won Bronze in the Vancouver Winter Games and took gold in the 2011 World Championships. Both skaters slow as we get closer and closer to the end with both athletes now lapping much slower than the Belgian.

With 6 laps to go Belchos drops the gap to within a second. Bokko meanwhile is over 10 seconds back and will almost certainly take 4th. 2000m left and Belchos is behind Swings' time, he will need to try to hold 2nd place. Meanwhile Bokko is 15 seconds back and will have no input in this race. The Canadian is now speeding up for the line and is challenging Swings time!

He's going for it, let's see... 12:59.51! PB! He manages to win by 4 seconds after sprinting in the last 800m. 13:17.47 for Bokko. Next we have Geisreiter of Germany racing The Korean athlete and winner in Vancouver 2010 Lee Seung-Hoon. The crowd begin cheering on Lee from the start!