United States

US Women Win Bronze in Team Pursuit, Ending Long Track Speedskating Medal Drought

No American woman speedskater had made the podium since Jennifer Rodriguez's bronze in the 1500m in Salt Lake City in 2002

Team USA's long track speedskating drought is over after eight years as the women's team won the bronze medal pursuit final Wednesday.

No U.S. long track speedskater had won an Olympic medal since the men's team won silver in 2010, and no American woman speedskater has made the podium since Jennifer Rodriguez's bronze in the 1500m in Salt Lake City in 2002.

Americans Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe and Mia Manganello won the B final over Canada, which nearly overcame a secondslong U.S. lead in the last lap, as Manganello clutched her knee and nearly fell over. Carlijn Schoutens, who skated in Bowe's place in the semifinal against the Netherlands and helped pace the others, also wins a bronze medal.

In the final, Japan upset the Netherlands, which had been imperious at the Gangneung Ice Arena, beating the U.S. by nearly 7 seconds in the semifinal. The Japanese skaters' time of 2:53.89 set an Olympic record.

The U.S. has another speedskating medal at the 2018 Winter Games, a silver in short track that was won by John-Henry Krueger. The two sports are listed separately in the Olympics.

Ireen Wuest's new silver medal is her 10th, an Olympic record.

The Netherlands were also the defending gold medalists in the men's team pursuit, which was contested Wednesday as well, but were upset in the semifinals by Norway and won bronze over New Zealand.

Norway won gold, its first medal in the men's team pursuit. South Korea took silver.

Norway won bronze in the 2017 world championship and won two World Cup medals earlier this season. They set an Olympic record time in the semifinal.

The Dutch fell despite having an arsenal of veteran speedskaters, including eight-time Olympic medalist Sven Kramer.

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