The Dutch woman will be looking to repeat their dominant 3000m performance in the 1500m. In the 3000m, the Netherlands took all three podium spots, a feat they also completed four years ago in the 1500m. Sochi gold medalist Jorien ter Mors failed to qualify due to the Netherlands speed skating depth, a testament to the Netherlands’ talent pool.
Heather Bergsma will be one to look out for. Bergsma has a chance to end U.S. speed skating’s medal draught.
How to watch:
Monday, Feb 12. at 7:30 a.m. ET
Who is competing: Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe, and Mia Manganello
Heather Bergsma: Bergsma won two world titles and three medals total last season, including the gold in the 1500m. The American has also been the world record holder in the event since 2015. Despite being less dominant recently, Bergsma’s pedigree makes her a strong medal contender. The 1500m is just the beginning of Bergsma’s Games as she will also participate in the 500m, 1000m, and mass start.
Brittany Bowe: Bowe missed a large part of 2016 battling a concussion, but was able to fight back in 2017. Prior to her injury, Bowe was able to earn a medal in the 500m, 1000m, and 1500m at the 2016 World Championships. Since her return, she has had promising showings on the World Cup circuit. At trials, Bowe topped Bergsma in both the 500m and the 1500m.
The International Field:
Ireen Wuest, the Netherlands: Wuest made history last time she was on the Olympic stage, leaving Sochi with five medals. Recently, Wuest has not had her best showings in the early World Cup season, but did complete an impressive performance at Dutch trials. Wuest has won three straight Olympic medals in the 1500m (bronze in Torino, gold in Vancouver, silver in Sochi), making her an medal contender.
Miho Takagi, Japan: In 2017, Takagi won all four of the first World Cup events of the season and a worlds bronze in the 1500m. Takagi was a 2010 Olympian, but missed out on Sochi, which will likely motivate her in PyeongChang.
Lotte van Beek, the Netherlands: Van Beek won the 2014 bronze medal in the event, but since then she has had health struggles. Shortly after Sochi, van Beek tore her ACL, and then dealt with mononucleosis in 2016. Van Beek enters PyeongChang refreshed after she began training independently.
Yekaterina Shikhova, Olympic Athlete from Russia: Most of Shikhova’s success has come in the team pursuit, but she won four individual medals in the final two World Cup races of 2017.