Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Venue(s): Richmond Olympic Oval, Richmond
Date Started: February 26, 2010
Date Finished: February 27, 2010
Format: Single-elimination event.
Since the introduction of the team pursuit in international competition, the Dutch had won all four World Championships. They had only failed to win the 2006 Olympics, when Sven Kramer fell during the semi-finals against the eventual champion, Italy. Following his dramatic loss in the 10,000 m, Kramer was poised to win this race. While he had hoped to have the same team mates as in 2006, Erben Wennemars and Carl Verheijen hadn't qualified. But with 1,500 m champion Mark Tuitert, sprinter Simon Kuipers and young talent Jan Blokhuijsen, the Dutch still were the team to beat. Other medal contenders were the United States, which had tied for victory in the season's first World Cup, although as in 2006, 1,000 m champion Shani Davis had elected to focus solely on individual events. Norway had also won a World Cup race, while the Canadians had set up special training program for the event.
It came as no surprise that these four teams then made the semi-finals, although Norway had a lot of difficulty beating the Koreans. The Canadians set the fastest time, and improved on that in the semi-finals, beating the Norwegians. In the other heat, the Americans upset the Dutch, who trailed the inexperienced Americans (save for former Olympic champion Chad Hedrick) for the entire race.
In the North American final, the Canadians took off at a world record pace, quickly leaving the Americans behind. But the hosts tired quickly, and the US slowly crept back. But, to the joy of the crowd, Canada held a gap of two tenths at the line. In the consolation final, the Dutch and the Norwegians both showed they were both capable of more than they had shown in the semi-finals, recording the fastest times. The Dutch even recorded an Olympic record, but it only gave them a bronze medal.