(Vaughn Ridley/COC)

Speedskater Bloemen wins 10,000-metre gold in Olympic-record time

The Canadian finished in just twelve minutes, 39.11 seconds

After settling for silver in the men’s 5,000 metres, Calgary speedskater Ted-Jan Bloemen lamented that he didn’t have more in the tank to challenge Dutch great Sven Kramer for gold.

His tank was full of high-grade octane on Thursday, as Bloemen dominated the competition in the men’s 10,000 metres and won the gold medal in an Olympic-record time.

Skating with confidence and consistency in the second-last pair, Bloemen laid down a time of twelve minutes, 39.11 seconds. It was a mark not even Kramer, one of the greatest speedskaters of all time, could match.

Perhaps daunted by the high bar set by Bloemen, Kramer flagged during his skate and finished a shocking sixth. Bloemen’s camp was so sure of victory that coach Bart Schouten gave the eventual Olympic champion a victory hug while Kramer still had 2,000 metres to skate.

Bloemen’s gold was part of a banner day for Canada’s Olympians that saw the luge relay team of Alex Gough, Sam Edney, Tristan Walker and Justin Snith win silver and pairs figure skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford take bronze.

Meanwhile, Canada’s women’s hockey team finished the round-robin undefeated with a 2-1 win over archrival United States. And the men opened with a convincing 5-1 win over Switzerland.

Canada sat third in the overall medal standings after six days of competition with 13 medals (four gold, five silver, four bronze). Norway leads with 17 medals, followed by 15 for Germany.

Canada’s four gold medals are fifth behind Germany (9), Norway (6), and the Netherlands and United States (5).

The 31-year-old Bloemen, who moved from the Netherlands to Calgary four years ago to compete for Canada, added the Olympic record to his world record in the gruelling 10,000-metre distance.

“I always felt from deep inside that I was able to do something special on the ice, but I was never able to show it. I had to find a different way to do it because I found I hit a wall in my career,” Bloemen said on his move to Canada.

“I found that different way and got way more than I ever would have hoped.”

Dutchman Jorrit Bergsma, the 2014 victor in the 10k, was second and briefly held the Olympic record with a time of 12:41.98 until Bloemen erased it in the next pairing.

Italy’s Nicola Tumolero took the bronze.

Toronto’s Jordan Belchos finished fifth with a career-best time of 12:59.51.

Bloemen’s father Gerhard-Jan was born in Bathurst, N.B., and lived in Canada for seven years before his family returned to the Netherlands.

Since arriving in Calgary in the spring of 2014, Bloemen has obtained his Canadian citizenship and married his Dutch wife Marlinde in a ceremony in Calgary.

Just Posted

Big Maple Ridge housing development gets final OK

More than 350 homes planned for along Lougheed Highway

New school boundaries in Maple Ridge

Eastern elementary catchments re-drawn

Letter: Past time to fully restore cursive writing

Editor, The News: Re: Citizen’s Ink: Despite technology, cursive writing remains essential.… Continue reading

Burrards ready to compete for Mann Cup

Add Superman to an already impressive lineup

Maple Ridge assistant fire chief ‘hitting the road’ in retirement

Mark Smitton’s replacement has yet to be announced

Maple Ridge tech company will power Uber Elevate

Moli and Uber announce RD partnership

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

Surrey RCMP issue warning after third sexual assault since Sunday

It is the third sexual assault reported this week in Surrey

Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry: study

SFU’s department of biological sciences recommends deeper look into shellfish ingesting microbeads

B.C. dad pens letter urging overhaul of youth health laws after son’s fatal overdose

The Infants Act currently states children under 19 years old may consent to medical treatment on own

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

VIDEO: Campers leave big mess at rural Vancouver Island campsite

Vehicle parts, garbage, a mattress, lawn chairs, beer cans, and even fecal matter left in the area

VIDEO: B.C. woman gets up-close view of Royal wedding

Kelly Samra won a trip back to her home country to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say ‘I do’

30 C in B.C., 30 cm of snow expected for eastern Canada

It might be hot in B.C., but the rest of Canada still dealing with cold

Most Read