At the Richmond Olympic Oval on Wednesday, Shani Davis from the USA won Olympic gold in the 1000m for the second consecutive Winter Games. Behind him, 500m winner Tae-Bum Mo (KOR) took the silver and Chad Hedrick (USA) won bronze.
Halfway, Mikael Flygind-Larsen (NOR) had the fastest time, 1:10.38. After the ice preparation break the stronger part of the field skated. First Jeremy Wotherspoon raced. The time on the board was 1:10.41, second, but then it was corrected to 1:10.35, leading time, and the audience reacted loudly. But the lead didn’t last long. In the next pair, Stefan Groothuis (NED) finished in 1:09.45 and his pairmate Nick Pearson (USA) in 1:09.79. With the track record 1:08.96 the podium seemed not to be for Groothuis either. His teammate Simon Kuipers finished in 1:09.66. Trevor Marsicano, world champion on this distance, was not in excellent shape this year and got to 1:10.11 only.
Tae-Bum Mo, who two days ago on his 21st birthday became Olympic 500m champion, was paired with Chad Hedrick (USA). Mo started out with a fast 16.39, and after another lap he had 0.8 second lead over Hedrick. Hedrick had with 26.80 the fastest last lap of the field, where Mo had 27.37, and that was enough for Mo to go first. Mo finished in 1:09.12 and Hedrick in 1:09.32 and they took the lead over the Dutch skaters. Mika Poutala (FIN) and Kyou-Hyuk Lee (KOR) could not change that. Mark Tuitert reached 1:09.48 and Denny Morrison, who stood on each 1000m podium in the past three world single distance championships, finished in 1:10.30, to his dismay and that of the Canadian audience. Then Shani Davis came, paired with Korean Jun Moon. Davis opened in 16.73, had it follow by a 25.2 lap. Where Mo passed in 41.75, Davis needed 42.01. It was a 26.93 final lap that brought him to the victory. His winning time was a new track record, 1:08.94. Three Dutch skaters ranked 4, 5 and 6.
All three medalists had experience with Olympic medals. Davis became the first skater to win the Olympic 1000 meter twice. He also won silver in Turin on the 1500m and in two days he will try to better that. He is the second US skater behind Eric Heiden with 3 Olympic medals. Tae-Bum is the silver medalist, after winning gold two days earlier. Chad Hedrick won bronze. He had three different (colours) medals from Turin on the three longer distances, this was his first Olympic 1000m medal. The two Americans carried a single American flag to the podium.
Shani Davis said: “I am extremely satisfied and proud and am beyond words with the result. Last time, I was attacking to attain that gold medal, now I was defensive. The race depleted me one hundred percent. As the leader in the World Cup I always start inner lane, and am so used to that. Now I had to start in the outer lane, which was different, but therefore rewarding in the end.” Hedrick: “Shani has not lost a 1000 meter race this year, all credit to him. The outcome of the race is fair.”
Mo said the ice went well with him. He didn’t comment much, but said that one of the most important things in his life is the saying “Deep waters run quiet (sic)” and that it is important to first be humble, then to be an athlete.