Nuis becomes 1st to win 2 Olympic golds at Gangneung Oval
By RAF CASERT, AP Sports Writer
GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — After a week without an Olympic gold medal in speedskating, the Dutch had to do something.
Kjeld Nuis was the man who did it — first dressed in orange and now covered in gold.
The 1,500-meter champion ended the Dutch long-track drought with a blistering start and a strong finish to win the 1,000 on Friday. He edged 500-meter champion Havard Lorentzen by 0.04 to win 1 minute, 7.95 seconds.
“I did it,” Nuis said. “I have two of them.”
Nuis became the first skater with two gold medals at the Gangneung Oval and reinforced the Dutch dominance at the top of the speedskating medal standings.
Kim Tae-yun of South Korea rallied the crowd and finished in 1.08.22 for bronze. Joey Mantia of the United States was 0.34 seconds behind Kim in fourth.
Victory left the Dutch with seven gold medals in 12 events with two mass starts to come on Saturday.
Nuis held the medal tight after he received it on the stand — the first time medals were handed over in the oval — and sang the Wilhelmus anthem.
Nuis was also the first man to win gold in the final pairing through two weeks of competition. Beyond the sheer power in his legs, he also had to hold his nerve while watching all his rivals go out first.
When Lorentzen became the first man to break the 1:08 mark, it became clear that Nuis would need to have the race of his life. He false-started, but he still held himself together.
“It is was so tense out there,” Nuis told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “The nerves were racing through my throat.”
It showed, but it didn’t slow him down.
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