Netherlands’ Ireen Wust became the most successful speed skater in Olympic history with ten medals after she surged to gold in the women’s 1,500m at the Gangneung Oval on Monday 12 February at PyeongChang 2018.
Wust, who won five medals at Sochi 2014 and who is also the first Dutch athlete to win five Olympic gold medals, crossed the line in one minute 54.35 seconds, with Japan's Miho Takagi taking the silver medal and another Dutch skater, Marrit Leenstra, winning bronze.
Wust's second medal of these Games is a new record in the sport and ensures she stands alone as the most successful speed skater in history, and the most successful Dutch Olympian in history.
The 31-year-old powered around the course to claim a second career 1,500m Olympic gold after her victory in Vancouver 2010.
Standing on the podium Wust, who will call time on her glittering career after PyeongChang 2018, raised her arms and jumped into the air after cementing her place in history.
“It's incredible,” enthused Wust of her historic victory. “It's 12 years since my first gold medal in Turin 2006, my fifth gold medal, and my tenth Olympic medal. I started my own team three years ago with only one goal, win the gold in the Olympics again. It worked out, and it's incredible.”
As well as the support and input of her team, Wust also admitted that her family have also played a huge part in her continued success.
“They help me a lot,” she said. “I had 22 family members 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. 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.”
Happy with bronze
Bronze medallist Leenstra admits she was delighted to reach the podium. She said: “I've been fourth many times, and also four years ago (Sochi 2014). I’ve worked really hard for the last two years. I did everything I could to be good for this Olympics, and it paid off.”
Ultimately, Leenstra admitted that she just didn’t have enough at the end of the race to push her compatriot closer. “The first two laps I felt really good, but the last one I felt really tired,” she reflected. “The last few metres were a struggle. I tried to keep skating, but it was really tough. I just tried to keep on going and make it to the end.”