Bloemen marvellous! Canadian cuts Dutch speed skaters down to size


Jorrit Bergsma during the 2013 WSDC in Sochi. Jorrit Bergsma during the 2013 WSDC in Sochi

Ted-Jan Bloemen of Canada put an end to Dutch skaters' dominance of gold medals in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games speed skating competitions as the world record holder clinched the title of the men's 10,000 metres here on Thursday evening.

Dutch-born Bloemen, second on Sunday to Kramer in the 5,000m, burst into tears when the result was confirmed, with Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands taking silver and the Italian Nicola Tumolero bronze.

The roots of Ted-Jan Bloemen will have many saying his Olympic gold medal in speedskating is at least part Dutch.

The 31-year-old, who switched allegiance in 2015 after failing to make the Netherlands team, won in a record 12 minutes 39.77 seconds.

As Kramer exhausted in the final laps, it became increasingly clear that Bloemen's record time was not going to be bettered.

"The 5 gave me so much confidence", he said. "Yeah, maybe you could compare, yeah", Bloemen said, pondering the idea. Two days later, he was an Olympic champion in the longest speed skating distance.

But Kramer fell well behind, never a threat to Bloemen, who raced around his 27 laps well ahead of his competitors, winning Canada's second ever medal in the men's 10,000m, the other coming in 1932, a bronze won by Frank Stack. "It's more feelings and emotion that run through your body and your mind at that point". "It made for a really great combination where I've been feeling really happy and grateful".

"It's just a really slow realization that you're becoming Olympic champion".

Bloemen expressed disappointment at not having more in the tank in the 5k, when he beat Norway's Sverre Lunde Pederson in their pairing by a mere blade tip for silver.

Since stepping off the plane June 3, 2014 at the Calgary International Airport, Bloemen obtained his Canadian citizenship and married his Dutch wife Marlinde in a ceremony in Calgary.

Canadian Jordan Belchos finished in 12:59.51, a personal best, putting him in fifth place. Belchos says when he races the 10k he feels like a lobster being brought to a boil. On the grand scale of sports screwed by the time change, the early morning slot is pretty reasonable.

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