On Saturday favourite Sven Kramer has won the first Dutch gold medal of the Winter Olympics after successfully defending his title in the men’s 5,000 speed skating event. Kramer completed the distance in 6.10.76, setting a new Olympic record. Fellow Dutchman Jan Blokhuijsen took silver in 6.15.71 while Jorrit Bergsma completed the all Orange podium with 6.16.66.
After the race, Kramer told NOS television he had not slept all night. ‘Not because of nerves, but I was so determined to get it right,’ he said. ‘The pressure was enormous. Gigantic. I could only lose… I was only too well aware of that.’
Ireen Wüst took the gold medal in the women’s 3,000 metre speed skating event at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Sunday, reclaiming the title she first won in Turin in 2006. Wüst completed the distance in 4.00.34 to take the title, beating her main rival Martina Sablikova into second place.
The bronze went to Russian skater Olga Graf. Wüst is also current Olympic 1,500 champion and and will defend her title over that distance on Sunday, February 16.
Wüst told NOS television after the race she had felt the pressure of being favourite. ‘What a race, what tension,’ she said. ‘I slept well but this afternoon… I ended up reading a book and trying not to think about the race.’