Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): Adler-Arena, Coastal Cluster, Adler
Date Started: February 10, 2014
Date Finished: February 10, 2014
Format: Two runs, total time determined placement.
Predicting the winner of the Olympic 500 m was not an easy job. Looking at the World Cup season, wins had been recorded by the Dutch twins [Ronald Mulder] and [Michel Mulder], the defending Olympic and world champion [Mo Tae-Beom], Japanese skaters [Keiichiro Nagashima] and [Joji Kato], while there had been surprise victories from [Artyom Kuznetsov], [Tucker Fredricks] and [Gilmore Junio].
While earlier skaters raced around the 35-second mark in the first heat, [Jan Smeekens] was the first to set a serious mark. His 34.59 in the 15th pair would prove the fastest time in the first race. It was most closely approached by Michel Mulder, the 2013 and 2014 World Sprint Champion, who lost just 0.04. Nagashima (34.79) and Mo (34.84) were further back, but still in contention, as were Kato and Ronald Mulder (both with 34.96).
In the 17th pair of the second heat, Ronald Mulder turned up the heat by finishing in 34.49, threatening his two leading compatriots with a time just 0.07 above the 2002 Olympic Record. Twin brother Michel couldn't match that time, but with a displayed time of 34.71, he was fast enough to be ranked first, while Mo and Kato fell behind the Dutch brothers. Smeekens needed a finishing time of 34.72 to earn the gold - and despite a wide last turn, that is exactly what he skated. Assuming he had won, he began celebrating, but right at that time a correction of Mulder's time came in. Probably due to a failing leg responder, his time was corrected by an unusual 0.04 margin, moving Mulder from 2nd to 1st within half a lap of Smeekens finishing. In the ensuing confusion, the referees reviewed their races in thousands of seconds, even though this is normally only done in case of ties. In the final ranking, therefore, Mulder was put at 69.312 and Smeekens at 69.324 - the smallest difference ever in the two-race event at the Olympics. The Dutch, who had never won a 500 m gold medal, now swept the event, their second medal sweep in just three days.
|4||Mo Tae-Beom||24||South Korea||KOR||69.69|
|12||Espen Aarnes Hvammen||25||Norway||NOR||70.42|
|18||Lee Gyu-Hyeok||35||South Korea||KOR||70.65|
|21||Kim Jun-Ho||18||South Korea||KOR||70.857|
|22||Lee Gang-Seok||28||South Korea||KOR||70.87|
|24||Shani Davis||31||United States||USA||70.98|
|26||Tucker Fredricks||29||United States||USA||70.999|
|27||Mitch Whitmore||24||United States||USA||71.06|
|32||HÃ¥vard Holmefjord Lorentzen||21||Norway||NOR||71.30|
|33||Sung Ching-Yang||21||Chinese Taipei||TPE||71.36|
|AC||Brian Hansen||23||United States||USA||DNF|