Olympic speed skating preview: Men’s team pursuit


How to watch

Sunday, Feb. 18, 6 a.m ET

What to watch for

The Dutch finally captured Olympic gold in this event in Sochi after two disappointing finishes in 2006 and 2010. In Pyeongchang, they have a good chance to do so again, armed with an arsenal of talented skaters that includes eight-time Olympic medalist Sven Kramer and two-time Olympic medalist Koen Verweij, who were both part of the Sochi team pursuit four years ago. Kramer helped the team to gold at Worlds last season.

Norway should have a strong team as well: the 2017 world bronze medalists won two World Cup medals earlier this season. Among its top skaters is PyeongChang 5000m bronze medalist, Sverre Lunde Pedersen, who helped the team to back-to-back medals at the World Single Distance Championships in the last two seasons (bronze in 2017, silver in 2016). 

The men’s team pursuit could provide a breakthrough for New Zealand, a country that has won only one medal at the Olympic Winter Games (silver in alpine skiing in 1992). The group is led by Peter Michael, who became the first speed skater from New Zealand to win a World Cup event in 2016, and several months later, the first from his country to win a medal at the world championships. In PyeongChang, Michael finished in fourth in the 5000m, barely missing out on the podium. New Zealand won silver last season at the world championships and finished on the podium twice in the first four World Cup races this season.

Canada also should not be overlooked in the team pursuit. Ted-Jan Bloemen, the Dutch-born world record holder in the 5000m and 10,000m, has won a gold and a silver at the 2018 Games, and fifth-place finisher in the 10,000m, Jordan Belchos, make the Canadian’s a medal threat.

The U.S. lineup includes 2017 mass start world champion Joey Mantia and his Sochi teammate, Brian Hansen, who won Olympic silver in this event in 2010. The group also features Sochi Olympians Jonathan Garcia and Emery Lehman. The U.S. has not been a medal contender in this event in recent seasons.

2014 Sochi Medalists

Netherlands (NED)

Jan Blokhuijsen

Sven Kramer

Koen Verweij

South Korea (KOR) 

Joo Hyong-Jun

Kim Cheol-Min

Lee Seung-Hoon

Poland (POL)

Zbigniew Brodka

Konrad Niedzwiedzki

Jan Szymanski

2017 World Championships medalists

Gold: Netherlands

Sven Kramer

Jan Blokhuijsen

Douwe de Vries

Patrick Roest

Silver: New Zealand

Peter Michael

Reyon Kay

Shane Dobbin

Bronze: Norway

Havard Lorentzen

Sindre Henriksen

Simen Spieler Nilsen

Sverre Lunde Pedersen

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