Winter Olympics: Van der Poel breaks own world record to complete speed skating double

By Sports Desk February 11, 2022 1293

Sweden's Nils van der Poel set a new world record as he claimed his second gold of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Speed skater Van der Poel won the 5,000m race earlier this week and on Friday he outclassed his opposition in the 10,000m event.

Van der Poel smashed his own world record as he recorded a time of just 12 minutes and 30.74 seconds. That cut over two seconds from his previous best, which was set last year.

It gave Van der Poel a 13.85-point cushion over his nearest rival, Patrick Roest of the Netherlands.

In the process, Van der Poel also became the 10th man to win the 5,000m and 10,000m races at the same Games.

To make his triumph even more unique, Van der Poel's time was set at sea level, whereas most of the world records now set take place at indoor ovals at altitude.

Indeed, the last world record set in the Olympic 10,000m race was by Jochem Uytdehaage of the Netherlands, back in 2002.

 

Previously, five other speed skaters had set world records while winning 10,000m Olympic golds.

Van der Poel is the 23rd different winner of the event in the Olympics - it is the event held most at the Games without an athlete winning on more than one occasion.

Remarkably, there was even time for a slip-up in Van der Poel's record-setting run.

"With eight laps to go I felt like 'OK, I've got the gold within control, now I just need to not f**k it up,' which I almost did with two-and-a-half laps to go," Van der Poel said.

"I put my right blade really straight out, I stumbled a little for sure.

"With four laps to go it was like, 'OK, now I can also go for the world record'. I felt like, 'Yeah, I have this in my body on a good day,' and it played out that way."

This was the sixth gold medal for Sweden in the event, but the first since 1988. Sweden's six gold medals trail only the Netherlands (seven).

Roest became the third speed skater representing the Netherlands to win an Olympic medal in four different events, after Ireen Wust (five) and Rintje Ritsma (four).

However, Van der Poel's margin of victory was the largest since Johan Olav Koss triumphed by 18.70 seconds in 1994.

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Last modified on Friday, 11 February 2022 12:02
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