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Speed Skating at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games:

Women's 500 metres

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Phases:

Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Venue(s): Richmond Olympic Oval, Richmond
Date Started: February 16, 2010
Date Finished: February 16, 2010
Format: Two runs, total time determined placement.

Gold: KOR Lee Sang-Hwa
Silver: GER Jenny Wolf
Bronze: CHN Wang Beixing

Summary

The women's 500 m competition was widely expected to be a duel between Germany's Jenny Wolf and China's Wang Beixing. Wolf had been the strongest 500 m skater since the 2006 Games, claiming the World Championship and the World Cup in the next three seasons. Wolf was also the fastest skater, with a world record of 37.00 seconds and seven of the ten fastest times recorded. Two of the other top-10 times had been set by Wang, three times runner-up to Wolf at the World Championships, but Wang had beaten Wolf at the 2009 World Sprint Championships, and twice during the ongoing World Cup season. Shortly before the Games, a third contender appeared. Already considered the "best of the rest" for some time, South Korean Lee Sang-Hwa finally managed to beat Wolf in one of the 500 ms at the World Sprint Championships, where she also took the overall title.

One of the other medal contenders, Annette Gerritsen of the Netherland was already out of contention in the first run, as she crashed out of the race in the first curve. At that point, Wang had taken the lead with a somewhat disappointing 34.487. Wolf was expected to beat this, which she did with 38.307. But in that race, Lee passed Wolf in the final straight to create a gap of about 0.05 seconds.

This left the competition wide open for the second run. It soon turned out that ice conditions had much improved. Wang considerably bettered her own first run time, and even bettered Lee's mark with her 38.144, ensuring a bronze medal. The final pair between Lee and Wolf was an exciting one. Wolf recorded one of her stunning opening times (10.14), making up for the difference from the first race. But as in the first run, Lee drew closer. While she was unable to overtake her German rival, Lee was only 0.012 behind at the line, enough to claim South Korea's second ever Olympic speed skating title - just one day after the first one (won by Mo Tae-Beom).

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Lee Sang-Hwa 20 South Korea KOR Gold 76.099
2 Jenny Wolf 31 Germany GER Silver 76.145
3 Wang Beixing 24 China CHN Bronze 76.631
4 Margot Boer 24 Netherlands NED 76.876
5 Sayuri Yoshii 25 Japan JPN 76.998
6 Heather Richardson 20 United States USA 77.175
7 Zhang Shuang 23 China CHN 77.337
8 Jin Peiyu 24 China CHN 77.457
9 Ko Hyon-Suk 24 North Korea PRK 77.470
10 Christine Nesbitt 24 Canada CAN 77.575
11 Monique Angermüller 26 Germany GER 77.591
12 Nao Kodaira 23 Japan JPN 77.632
13 Xing Aihua 32 China CHN 77.641
14 Shihomi Shinya 30 Japan JPN 77.729
15 Thijsje Oenema 21 Netherlands NED 77.761
16 Tomomi Okazaki 38 Japan JPN 78.031
17 Elli Ochowicz 26 United States USA 78.050
18 Yekaterina Aydova 18 Kazakhstan KAZ 78.140
19 Laurine van Riessen 22 Netherlands NED 78.147
20 Olga Fatkulina 20 Russia RUS 78.436
21 Jennifer Rodriguez 33 United States USA 78.463
22 Svetlana Kaykan 31 Russia RUS 78.632
23 Karolína Erbanová 17 Czech Republic CZE 78.686
24 Yekaterina Malysheva 23 Russia RUS 78.729
25 Chiara Simionato 34 Italy ITA 78.765
26 Lee Bo-Ra 23 South Korea KOR 78.802
27 Shannon Rempel 25 Canada CAN 78.824
28 Judith Hesse 27 Germany GER 78.843
29 Sophie Muir 26 Australia AUS 79.049
30 Lauren Cholewinski 21 United States USA 79.101
31 An Ji-Min 17 South Korea KOR 79.144
32 Oh Min-Ji 24 South Korea KOR 79.584
33 Svetlana Radkevich 30 Belarus BLR 79.753
34 Anastasia Bucsis 20 Canada CAN 79.755
35 Annette Gerritsen 24 Netherlands NED 136.661
AC Yuliya Nemaya 32 Russia RUS DQ