Feb. 12 (UPI) — Ireen Wust of the Netherlands reaped her fifth Olympic gold medal in speed skating after she clocked a time of one minute and 54.35 seconds on Monday evening to win the women’s 1,500m race at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.
Beating title favorite Miho Takagi from Japan by 0.20 seconds, the 31-year-old Wust became the first athlete from the Netherlands to win a fifth title at the Olympic Winter or Summer Games and the first speed skater to win a record 10th Olympic medal.
“It’s incredible. It’s 12 years since my first gold medal in Turin (2006 Games), my fifth gold medal, my 10th Olympic medal,” Wust said, who had also captured the 1,500m gold medal at the Vancouver Games. “I started my own team three years ago with only one goal, win the gold in the Olympics again. It worked out this way and it’s incredible.”
Wust attributed her victory to the support of her big family.
“They help me a lot. Twenty-two family members are here to cheer and stand with me during my last Olympics. It’s incredible to have them all here. It makes me really happy and proud,” she added. “They always love me no matter how I skate, if I win or if I lose. They know the journey and the ups and downs.”
Takagi settled for second place, with the bronze medal going to Wust’s compatriot Marrit Leenstra with a time of 1:55.26.
The Dutch skaters have dominated the speed skating competitions at the Pyeongchang Games so far by sweeping all three decided gold medals.