Kjeld Nuis wins 1000m gold, Joey Mantia misses out

A strong run in the final heat of the 1000m earned Kjeld Nuis his second gold medal of the 2018 Games. “T...

Posted: Feb. 23, 2018 1:58 PM
Updated: Feb. 23, 2018 1:58 PM

A strong run in the final heat of the 1000m earned Kjeld Nuis his second gold medal of the 2018 Games.

“The 1500 (gold medal) was a victory and this relief. I was psyched to get this one," Nuis said after the race. "I really felt the tension today and after the false start the nerves were running through my body, but now it doesn’t matter any more.”

Early in his career, Nuis struggled in big races, notably missing out on the 2010 and 2014 Games, but with the help of a sports psychologist has improved.

“I’m most proud of keeping my nerves under control. That was my victory today,” Nuis said to the media.

The Netherlands have now won seven speed skating gold medals in PyeongChang. Nuis is the first skater to win two individual gold medals.

Joey Mantia lost the most following Nuis’ gold medal run in the final heat, as the Dutch champion moved Mantia off the podium and into fourth place.

“I knew I needed a miracle to get on the podium with Kjeld last (to race) and I was in third (place)," Mantia said to the media. "He has been on it all year. Last year he cleaned up and world records everywhere. He really had to mess up. I was realistic and trying to be optimistic."

Havard Lorentzen, the 500m gold medalist, was moved off the top spot by Nuis, taking silver. Lorentzen's silver is Norway’s first Olympic medal in this event since the 1984 Games. 

“It was a good race, but it wasn’t my perfect race and that’s a little bit disappointing. But I am super happy to have a silver medal,” Lorentzen said to the media.

Kim Tae-Yun earned a bronze medal. The South Korean skater is a shock medalist in the event, as he finished 30th in Sochi and has not had much success over the last four years.Kim earns the host nations 12th of the games, with all but one coming in speed skating or short track. 

“It is like a dream, I didn’t do well in the World Cups this year," Kim said following the race. "I think all my hard work paid off. It is still like a dream. I am so happy."

Mitch Whitmore led briefly with a time of 1:09.17, but finished tenth. The race is likely the three-time Olympians final Olympic race as he plans on retiring and becoming a speed skating coach following the 2018 Games.

Shani Davis finished seventh overall, in what might be the two-time gold medalists final Olympic race. Davis has not ruled out attempting to make another Olympic run, but at 35-years-old making the team in four years could be difficult.

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