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Speed Skating at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games:

Women's 5,000 metres

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Host City: Salt Lake City, United States
Venue(s): Utah Olympic Oval, Kearns, Utah
Date Started: February 23, 2002
Date Finished: February 23, 2002

Gold: GER Claudia Pechstein
Silver: NED Gretha Smit
Bronze: CAN Clara Hughes

Summary

With 5-time World Champion and world record holder Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann away on maternity leave, the Olympic gold in the 5,000 m seemed predestined for the 1994 and 1998 champion, Claudia Pechstein. Prior to the Games, she might have feared stiff competition from compatriot, Anni Friesinger, winner of the only 5,000 m World Cup race earlier in the season. But Friesinger had not done well in the Olympic 3,000 m, while Pechstein had won that race.

Instead competition for Pechstein came from two women who had only recently picked up speed skating again. Canadian Clara Hughes had been a speed skater before choosing a cycling career that earned her two Olympic bronze medals in the 1996 Games. She had picked up her old sport again in 2001, and had set a time of 7.00,10 at the Canadian Olympic Trials. Gretha Smit had been the surprise of the Dutch Olympic Trials. Dominant in women's marathon skating, she had taken a stab at long track skating, and had overwhelmingly won the 3,000 m and 5,000 m at the selection competition.

Skating in the first pair, Smit shattered Niemann's world record, which had been set in March 2001, lowering it to 6:49.22. Only in the sixth pair did Hughes manage to approach the time with 6:53.53, mainly due to her steady final laps. Undaunted by these times, Pechstein set off faster than Smit. This appeared to have cost her, as she fell behind the Dutchwoman at 1,800 m and started to lose more time in the ensuing laps. The gap increased to 2.76 seconds at 3,400 m, but Smit's final 33 and 34-second laps left room for improvement. Pechstein seized that opportunity, turning around her deficit at the bell to a sizable margin of victory at the finish line.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 2c 6c 1k 1.4k 1.8k 2.2k 2.6k 3k 3.4k 3.8k 4.2k 4.6k
1 Claudia Pechstein 29 Germany GER Gold 6:46.91 19.79 51.50 1:23.89 1:55.95 2:28.33 3:00.47 3:32.87 4:05.35 4:37.67 5:10.01 5:42.49 6:14.86 WR
2 Gretha Smit 26 Netherlands NED Silver 6:49.22 20.91 52.67 1:24.59 1:56.34 2:28.00 2:59.58 3:31.09 4:02.83 4:34.91 5:07.52 5:40.57 6:14.45 WR
3 Clara Hughes 29 Canada CAN Bronze 6:53.53 21.13 52.77 1:24.57 1:56.80 2:29.13 3:01.91 3:34.70 4:07.41 4:40.28 5:13.37 5:46.97 6:20.43
4 Cindy Klassen 22 Canada CAN 6:55.89 19.99 51.35 1:23.79 1:56.48 2:29.18 3:01.47 3:33.89 4:06.69 4:39.80 5:13.12 5:47.07 6:21.28
5 Varvara Barysheva 24 Russia RUS 6:56.97 20.04 52.62 1:25.79 1:59.59 2:33.31 3:06.54 3:39.54 4:12.55 4:45.47 5:18.18 5:50.74 6:23.79
6 Anni Friesinger-Postma 25 Germany GER 6:58.39 19.81 52.35 1:24.78 1:56.80 2:28.73 3:01.02 3:33.73 4:06.29 4:39.57 5:13.35 5:47.81 6:22.43
7 Tonny de Jong 27 Netherlands NED 7:01.17 20.26 52.44 1:24.99 1:56.94 2:29.33 3:01.90 3:34.73 4:08.20 4:42.25 5:16.43 5:51.16 6:26.18
8 Maki Tabata 27 Japan JPN 7:06.32 19.92 51.14 1:23.41 1:56.35 2:28.90 3:02.35 3:35.78 4:09.56 4:43.74 5:18.27 5:53.50 6:29.44
9 Catherine Raney Norman 21 United States USA 7:06.89 21.18 55.08 1:29.16 2:03.09 2:36.66 3:10.37 3:44.15 4:18.29 4:52.45 5:26.88 6:00.91 6:34.15
10 Kristina Groves 25 Canada CAN 7:07.16 20.95 54.48 1:28.85 2:02.24 2:35.22 3:08.38 3:41.88 4:15.48 4:49.35 5:23.59 5:58.06 6:32.59
11 Valentina Yakshina 26 Russia RUS 7:08.42 20.83 54.17 1:27.49 2:01.01 2:34.53 3:08.18 3:42.01 4:16.17 4:50.74 5:25.30 5:59.76 6:34.13
12 Daniela Anschütz-Thoms 27 Germany GER 7:10.17 20.51 53.14 1:25.96 1:59.10 2:32.53 3:06.06 3:39.79 4:13.79 4:48.07 5:22.66 5:57.74 6:33.57
13 Marja Vis 25 Netherlands NED 7:19.08 20.21 51.89 1:24.25 1:57.03 2:30.32 3:04.00 3:38.47 4:13.75 4:49.20 5:25.52 6:02.65 6:40.79
14 Annie Driscoll 23 United States USA 7:35.23 20.78 53.00 1:25.87 2:00.50 2:35.84 3:11.67 3:47.67 4:23.99 5:01.02 5:38.88 6:17.76 6:56.74
AC Lyudmila Prokashova 33 Kazakhstan KAZ 21.31 54.47 1:27.56 2:00.22 2:33.23 3:06.52 3:40.56 DNF/fall
AC Nami Nemoto 26 Japan JPN 20.62 53.20 1:26.18 1:58.99 2:32.02 3:05.23 3:39.08 4:13.40 4:48.84 DNF