The United States completed third in speedskating’s group pursuit on Tuesday, gathering the second American speedskating medal of those Olympics. The United States males are the world report holders in the group pursuit and had been favored to win the occasion, making the third-place end equal components success and disappointment.
The American group of Joey Mantia, Casey Dawson and Emery Lehman defeated the Netherlands in the so-called B remaining — successfully the bronze medal race — by virtually three seconds. Norway received the gold, for the second Olympics in a row, defeating Russia in the ultimate.
An surprising resolution probably price the United States an opportunity to race Norway in the ultimate. Mantia, essentially the most completed American skater, didn’t skate in the semifinals in opposition to a group from Russia, with Ethan Cepuran chosen as an alternative by the group’s coach to race with Dawson and Lehman.
Dawson, Lehman and Cepuran skated effectively, main by the center of the race — their time of three minutes 37.05 seconds was quicker than the Olympic report (and quicker than they skated with Mantia in the B remaining). But the Russians skated a good higher race, and received by virtually half a second.
In the lads’s group pursuit, the three group members skate in single file solely inches aside for eight laps, with the time of the final skater to cross the end line counted. Usually each lap or two the entrance skater, who does the grueling work of setting the tempo whereas the others glide in his slipstream, peels to the again and lets a brand new teammate lead, and undergo.
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As a gaggle of people, the United States skaters are much less completed than most of their opponents. None of them had received an Olympic medal earlier than, and moreover Mantia, none have come notably shut. Their opponents in the bronze medal race, the Dutch, had been led by the nine-time Olympic medalist Sven Kramer and the four-time medalist Patrick Roest.
But the United States has prioritized the group pursuit over the previous 4 years, finally overtaking the remainder of the world in the occasion with a daring and progressive technique that has upended how the race is run. Instead of exchanging the position of who skates up entrance, the United States has one member lead your complete race, whereas his teammates use the vitality saved by staying in the again to bodily push each other ahead. The technique has had success: The Americans set the world report in Salt Lake City in December, and the Norwegians, who received the gold on Tuesday, freely admit to having copied it.
The bronze medal is the primary for all of the United States skaters, and got here in the third, and probably remaining, Olympics for Mantia, who’s 36. Last week he appeared he appeared resigned to retiring with out ever profitable an Olympic medal after ending sixth in the 1,500 meters.
“It’s heartbreaking, you know,” Mantia mentioned on the time. “I really thought that this was my chance. Realistically it was probably my last chance at these Games to medal. I might be able to make the next Olympics, but at 40 I don’t know what my body will be capable of.”
The bronze medal race got here lower than two hours after the semifinal loss to Russia, a fast turnaround that might have performed a job in the choice to carry Mantia out of the semifinal. “It’s a puke-and-rally situation,” Cepuran instructed reporters concerning the quick timeline after the quarterfinals on Sunday.
In the ladies’s group pursuit, the favored Canadians defeated the Japanese and set a brand new Olympic report. The Japanese led your complete race, however on the ultimate curve Nana Takagi appeared to clip skates with considered one of her teammates and fell, giving the gold medal to the Canadians. The Netherlands defeated Russia for the bronze.