Martina Sablikova won the Women's 3000m in speed skating in Vancouver 2010 and was expected to repeat in 2014, but on Sunday it was Ireen Wust, winner at Torino 2006, who took home the gold.
Wust, out of the Netherlands, is hard to call too much of an underdog. She won the 3000m in the World Single Distance Championships in Sochi last year as well as in 2011 in Inzell, Germany. However, Wust specializes in shorter distances, particularly the 1500m, whereas Sablikova (of the Czech Republic) has won a handful of medals in both the 3000m and the 5000m. On Sunday, Wust used her short-distance specialty to put up a hot pace early on before settling in at the end to set the gold-medal mark at 4:00.34.
Sablikova's silver medal run came in at 4:01.95, 1.61 seconds off of Wust's pace. Olga Graf, the Russian from Kolomna, got the bronze medal with a 4:03.47 (+3.13) time.
The American Anna Ringsred faced the Austrian Anna Rokita in the day's second heat. Ringsred started off behind Rokita and never truly made a push. The pairing ended with Rokita at 4:16.43, 16.09 seconds off of Wust's pace, and Ringsred, making her Olympic debut, finished 21.17 seconds off the pace at 4:21.08.
After a fifth heat that saw Mari Hemmer of Norway just edge off of Kim's time with a 4:12.21 mark, the Russian Yuliya Skokova blew away the rest of the competition in the seventh heat with a 4:09.36 time, finishing 2.72 seconds ahead of everyone else so far.
After the ice was cleaned, the second-half heats started out fast. Annouk van der Wijden of the Netherlands bested Skokova with a 4:05.78 pace in the eighth heat, and Russian Olga Graf blew everyone so-far-raced off the ice with a 4:03.47 time in the 10th heat. In that same heat, the American Jilleanne Rookard recorded a 4:10.02 time that put her in fourth going into the Sablikova's 11th heat.
You can find the full results from the Women's 3000m here, but these are the Top 10 standings from Sunday.
|5||NED||Annouk van der Weijden||4:06.73|
|7||NED||Antoinette de Jong||4:09.36|