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Speed Skating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games:

Women's 500 metres

Speed Skating at the 2014 Winter Games: Previous Winter Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): Adler-Arena, Coastal Cluster, Adler
Date Started: February 11, 2014
Date Finished: February 11, 2014
Format: Two runs, total time determined placement.

Gold: KOR Lee Sang-Hwa
Silver: RUS Olga Fatkulina
Bronze: NED Margot Boer

Summary

Where the men's 500 m had at least eight candidates for the title, the women's race essentially had just one. Reigning Olympic Champion Lee Sang-Hwa] had dominated the event since her somewhat surprising victory in Vancouver. She had won the 2012 and 2013 world titles (2nd in 2011), and since November 2012 had lost only a single 500 m World Cup race. She had beaten the World Record four times in 2013, lowering it from 36.94 to a 36.36. Few other skaters had managed to beat 37 seconds, and [Wang Beixing's 36.85 was the best time not set by Lee. Wang's compatriot Yu Jing, a former World Record holder, was missing in Sochi, suffering from a hip injury. Together with Wang, American skater Heather Richardson, home favorite Olga Fatkulina and former record holder Jenny Wolf of Germany were highly considered for a medal.

The surprise of the first run was [Zhang Hong], another Chinese sprinter. Despite a modest 10.79 opening she recorded the fastest full lap and set the third time of the first run with 37.58. Only in pair 16 could Fatkulina beat that time (by 0.01), enthusiastically cheered on by the crowd. As expected, Lee's time in the final pair was faster, but with 37.42 the gap was not as large as it had been in earlier competitions. The other favorites were all still in contention as well, and were joined by Margot Boer in 5th and Nao Kodaira in 7th.

Boer was the first of these favorites to hit the ice in the second run, and she slightly improved on her first run mark for a 75.48 total. The time would only be beaten by two skaters in the second run, as Richardson (38.02), Zhang (37.99), Wolf (37.73) and Kodaira (37.72) all had slightly worse times. Fatkulina, however used the crowd's energy to power to 37.49. Lee's position never seemed in danger, however, and she demonstrated that by finishing in a new Olympic Record of 37.28 - giving 74.70 as her total, another Olympic Record. This made Lee the third woman to retain her Olympic 500 m title, after Bonnie Blair (who won it at three consecutive Olympics) and Catriona Le May Doan.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Lee Sang-Hwa 24 South Korea KOR Gold 74.70 OR
2 Olga Fatkulina 24 Russia RUS Silver 75.06
3 Margot Boer 28 Netherlands NED Bronze 75.48
4 Zhang Hong 25 China CHN 75.58
5 Nao Kodaira 27 Japan JPN 75.61
6 Jenny Wolf 35 Germany GER 75.67
7 Wang Beixing 28 China CHN 75.68
8 Heather Richardson 24 United States USA 75.75
9 Maki Tsuji 28 Japan JPN 76.84
10 Karolína Erbanová 21 Czech Republic CZE 76.86
11 Laurine van Riessen 26 Netherlands NED 76.99
12 Christine Nesbitt 28 Canada CAN 77.15
13 Brittany Bowe 25 United States USA 77.19
14 Miyako Sumiyoshi 26 Japan JPN 77.26
15 Lauren Cholewinski 25 United States USA 77.35
16 Lotte van Beek 22 Netherlands NED 77.40
17 Yekaterina Malysheva 27 Russia RUS 77.55
18 Angelina Golikova 22 Russia RUS 77.68
19 Marrit Leenstra 24 Netherlands NED 77.74
20 Lee Bo-Ra 27 South Korea KOR 77.75
21 Denise Roth 25 Germany GER 77.78
22 Yekaterina Aydova 22 Kazakhstan KAZ 77.85
23 Qi Shuai 25 China CHN 77.89
24 Kim Hyeon-Yeong 19 South Korea KOR 78.23
25 Yekaterina Lobysheva 28 Russia RUS 78.24
26 Park Seung-Ju 23 South Korea KOR 78.31
27 Vanessa Bittner 18 Austria AUT 78.50
28 Anastasia Bucsis 24 Canada CAN 78.52
29 Sugar Todd 23 United States USA 78.53
30 Yvonne Daldossi 22 Italy ITA 78.64
31 Zhang Shuang 27 China CHN 78.65
32 Marsha Hudey 23 Canada CAN 79.22
33 Danielle Wotherspoon-Gregg 33 Canada CAN 79.32
34 Gabi Hirschbichler 30 Germany GER 79.51
AC Judith Hesse 31 Germany GER DQ