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Nana Takagi wins women's mass start gold

Nana Takagi is the very first mass start Olympic champion. The mass start is made its Olympic debut in Pyeong...

Posted: Feb 24, 2018 4:48 PM
Updated: Feb 24, 2018 4:48 PM

Nana Takagi is the very first mass start Olympic champion.

The mass start is made its Olympic debut in PyeongChang, after being tested at the junior Olympics.

 

Takagi is the first women to win two speed skating gold medals in PyeongChang, as she was also a part of Japan's gold medal team pursuit team. Japan have continued to rewrite their Olympic history in 2018. In PyeongChang, Japan have won six medals speed skating medals, entering the Games the country had four.

Kim Bo-Reum and Irene Schouten followed Takagi on the podium.

"I am very happy with this medal. I will treasure this medal forever," Kim said after the race. "Ever since when I started at 14 or 15 I wanted to get a medal and I am very happy to get this medal for my country."

Schouten was not as content with her medal immediately after the race.

"The medal means a lot - now I am a little bit (sad) that I lost the gold but tomorrow and day after I will be happy with the bronze," Schouten said to the media.

 

Saskia Alusalu decided to take an early lead in the final in an attempt to hold on all 16 laps. With three laps to go she was passed by the rest of the field, finished fourth overall due to sprint points.

Mia Manganello and Heather Bergsma both advanced to the final. Manganello finished seventh in the semifinal with one sprint point, while Bergsma qualified with five points. In the final, Bergsma finished tenth and Manganello finished 15th. Bergsma was not able to ride the momentum from her team pursuit bronze into another medal. 

Medal favorite Ivanie Blondin did not advance to the final after a crash just over four minutes into Semifinal 2. Blondin finished the race, but did not earn enough sprint points to advance.

“Had a slip, happens all the time in short track and mass start,” Blondin said to the ISU. “I’m distraught right now.”

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