Ireen Wuest of the Netherlands earned her sixth career gold medal by setting the Olympic record in the women's 1500m race on Monday. She has now won gold in the 1500m at three of the last four Winter Olympics.
Wuest is racing in her final Winter Olympic Games at 35, but her result on what has been a difficult track for skaters to maintain speed shows how dominant she still is. She finished with a time of 1:53.28 and had the fastest lap of the event at 27.86.
The Dutch skater is now a 12-time Olympic medalist, the most ever in speed skating.
“It’s really hard to describe," Wuest said in a press conference. "A lot of emotions, especially the good ones ... It’s insane, actually.”
Miho Takagi of Japan finished second behind Wuest, as she did in 2018, with a time of 1:53.72. That was a faster skate than Wuest put together to win gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics. She is now a four-time Olympic medalist after winning three in 2018: mass start, team pursuit and women's 1500m.
Antoinette de Jong of the Netherlands earned the bronze medal. She said in a press conference following the event that it was not a great race for her, but she is happy to win a medal.
At least two Dutch skaters have reached the podium in the women's 1500m for three straight Winter Olympic Games.
Japan's Ayano Sato missed the podium by 0.1 seconds.
Brittany Bowe from the United States entered the event with podium aspirations having won the silver medal at the 2021 World Championships. The American had a booming start but faded fast and finished in 10th place with a time of 1:55.81.
"I went out hard and tried to use my speed to my advantage," Bowe told reporters after the race. "But, the ladies that came from the distance side of things really excelled today ... Disappointed with myself but looking forward to another opportunity."
Bowe has several races remaining including the 500m and 1000m.
Dutch athletes have won two gold medals, a silver and a bronze in three speed skating events to start the 2022 Winter Olympics. Irene Schouten won the women's 5000m to begin competition. She also set the Olympic record.
The next event at the "Ice Ribbon" is the men's 1500m on Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. ET. See NBCOlympics.com for the full schedule.
Editor's note: Re-live the event as it unfolded in real time with our live blog updates below
There are 15 pairings set to compete. Every skater gets one chance to set the fastest time.
Bowe will race in the 14th pairing and Wuest in the 12th.
First pairing: Huang wins the first pairing, setting the time to beat at 2:00.78. To compare, Wuest won gold with a 1:54.35 time in 2018.
Third pairing: Germany's Michelle Uhrig surpasses Huang with a 2:00.20 time.
Fifth pairing: The first American to compete, Mia Manganello Kilburg, grabs second place, 0.70 behind the leader.
Seventh pairing: ROC's Evgenia Lalenkova hits 1:55.74, the best time of the first seven pairs by far. The 31-year-old won the 1500m at a Russian Olympic qualifying event in December. Sloeva remains in second.
Ice resurfacing break at the Ice Ribbon. Final seven pairings up next.
10th pairing: Nana Takagi of Japan, who won gold medals in the team pursuit and mass start events in 2018, takes second at 1:55.34. Her sister, Miho, is up in the final pairing.
11th pairing: Antoinette de Jong hits 1:54.82 to grab the top spot. The Dutch skater is a two-time Olympic medalist. Wuest is up next.
12th pairing: Ireen Wuest sets an Olympic record at 1:53.28. This is her final Olympics, but she is not leaving anything out there. She beat her gold medal-winning 2018 time by over a second.
Three Dutch skaters are in the top-three.
14th pairing: Brittany Bowe put together a massive start but faded. She slides into eighth place with a time of 1:55.81.
15th pairing: Miho Takagi comes in second place with a time of 1:53.72, which is better than Wuest's 2018 result. De Jong stays in third.