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Speed Skating at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games:

Men's 500 metres

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Salt Lake City, United States
Venue(s): Utah Olympic Oval, Kearns, Utah
Date Started: February 11, 2002
Date Finished: February 12, 2002
Format: Two runs, total time determined placement.

Gold: USA Casey FitzRandolph
Silver: JPN Hiroyasu Shimizu
Bronze: USA Kip Carpenter

Summary

Looking at the starting list, there were two major favorites for this event: Jeremy Wotherspoon and Hiroyasu Shimizu. Of the two, Wotherspoon had had the best season prior to the Games. He had won four World Cup races, and a few weeks before the Olympics, had won the World Sprint Championships, taking the first of two 500 m races in the process. Shimizu, had a better historical record, though. Apart from being the defending Olympic champion, he had won the 500 m World title in 1996 and 1998 to 2001, and was world record holder. Several other skaters could claim realistic hopes for the title as well, notably Casey FitzRandolph, Mike Ireland and Gerard van Velde.

The biggest surprise early in the first run was the performance of Kip Carpenter, a former short-track speed skater, who recorded his first 34-second 500 m at 34.68. That time would eventually hold up as the third fastest of the day. The first skater to beat it was Shimizu (34.61), who seemed disappointed not to approach his own world record. In the next pair, it was FitzRandolph who completed the first 100 m in 9.44, and sped to a new personal best, 34.44. In the remaining pairs, none matched that time. The biggest story, however, was not FitzRandolph, but Wotherspoon. Skating in the last pair, his Olympic dreams were over after a few meters as he tripped and fell. On the second day, Wotherspoon showed off his great form by winning the second run, but that did not help him.

Although differences were not too large, the results of day one would still stand at the conclusion of the competition. The final race was run between FitzRandolph and Carpenter. The leader opened considerably slower than in the first run, and it seemed he might lose his 0.19 advantage on Shimizu. While beaten by his compatriot, FitzRandolph's 34.81 was just enough to keep the Japanese skater at bay by 0.03 seconds. Carpenter, in turn, also lost a bit on the closest contender for bronze - Van Velde - but kept a 0.02-second edge on the Dutchman. Despite having been a known 500 m skater for several years, the Olympic 500 m was FitzRandolphs first international victory in the event. His father Jeff was also acting at the Olympics, appearing as the starter in several events, although not those in which his son competed.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Casey FitzRandolph 27 United States USA Gold 69.23 OR
2 Hiroyasu Shimizu 27 Japan JPN Silver 69.26 OR
3 Kip Carpenter 22 United States USA Bronze 69.47
4 Gerard van Velde 30 Netherlands NED 69.49 OR
5 Lee Gyu-Hyeok 23 South Korea KOR 69.59 OR
6 Joey Cheek 22 United States USA 69.60
7 Mike Ireland 28 Canada CAN 69.60
8 Toyoki Takeda 28 Japan JPN 69.81 OR
9 Jan Bos 26 Netherlands NED 69.86
10 Erben Wennemars 26 Netherlands NED 69.89
11 Dmitry Lobkov 21 Russia RUS 70.10 OR
12 Kuniomi Haneishi 27 Japan JPN 70.11 OR
13 Sergey Klevchenya 31 Russia RUS 70.28
14 Manabu Horii 29 Japan JPN 70.32
15 Janne Hänninen 26 Finland FIN 70.33
16 Paweł Abratkiewicz 31 Poland POL 70.44
17 Choi Jae-Bong 21 South Korea KOR 70.57 OR
18 Dmitry Dorofeyev 25 Russia RUS 70.75 OR
19 Michael Künzel 28 Germany GER 70.84
20 Pat Bouchard 28 Canada CAN 70.88
21 Li Yu 25 China CHN 70.97 OR
22 Tomasz Świst 27 Poland POL 71.27
23 Davide Carta 29 Italy ITA 71.39
24 Éric Brisson 28 Canada CAN 71.54
25 Park Jae-Man 21 South Korea KOR 71.96
26 Christian Breuer 25 Germany GER 72.07
27 Ids Postma 28 Netherlands NED 72.49
28 Marc Pelchat 34 United States USA 72.58
29 Andriy Fomin 24 Ukraine UKR 72.64
30 Dino Gillarduzzi 26 Italy ITA 72.69
31 Zsolt Baló 30 Hungary HUN 72.93
32 Aleksey Khatylyov 18 Belarus BLR 74.81
33 Kim Cheol-Su 21 South Korea KOR 108.46
34 Yu Fengtong 17 China CHN 117.41
35 Grunde Njøs 34 Norway NOR 133.57
AC Ermanno Ioriatti 26 Italy ITA DNF
AC Jan Friesinger 21 Germany GER DNF
AC Jeremy Wotherspoon 25 Canada CAN DNF