Irene Schouten wins women's mass start, third gold medal of Olympics

irene schouten - Credit: (Imagn)

irene schouten – Credit: (Imagn)

Irene Schouten of the Netherlands won the women’s mass start for her third individual speed skating gold medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics on Saturday. 

Schouten and Canada’s Ivanie Blondin were in a dead sprint to the finish line, but the Dutchwoman earned the 0.06-second advantage. She previously won the women’s 3000m plus 5000m events and collected a bronze medal in the women’s team pursuit. 

Her fourth medal is tied for the most by a women’s speed skater at a single Olympics. Lydia Skoblikova accomplished the feat for the Soviet Union in 1964.

Blondin earned her second medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics after winning gold in the team Pursuit.

Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida finished third for the bronze medal on Saturday. She landed second behind Schouten in the 3000m. 

American Mia Manganello Kilburg crossed the line fourth, her best individual result at an Olympic race of her career. She was 1.17 seconds behind the Italian. 

Joey Mantia of the United States also finished fourth in the men’s mass start final. 

Germany’s Claudia Pechstein grabbed ninth place to conclude her eighth career Olympics on Saturday. The seven-time medalist will turn 50 next week.

American Giorgia Birkeland, a 19-year-old in her Olympic debut, reached the final and finished 13th. She tucked herself into the leading group on the final sprint of the semifinal to advance, a savvy move for an athlete in her first senior international event. 

Defending gold medalist Nana Takagi of Japan fell while in qualifying position during the semifinal. She also slipped and crashed during the last lap in the women’s 3000m relay A Final to lose out on a gold medal.

The women’s mass start was the closing speed skating event of the 2022 Winter Olympics, and the Netherlands finished on top of the medal table with 12.

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