Heather Bergsma and Brittany Bowe were able to salvage what has been a dissapointing 2018 Games, with a bronze medal in the team pursuit.
The U.S. burst out to an early lead against the Canadians, taking a three-second lead at one point, but with two laps left slowed down substantially opening the door for Canada. In the final curve Mia Manganello almost fell, but was able to regain her balance to finish
It is the first Olympic women’s speed skating medal since 2002 for the U.S., when Jennifer Rodriguez took home bronze in the 1500m.
The United States strategically raced for bronze in the semifinal against the Netherlands. The U.S. rested 1000m world record holder, Bowe, for the B Final, inserting Carlijn Schoutens in her place. Schoutens, a distance skater, carried the team throughout the six lap race, resting Manganello and Bergsma for the bronze medal race.
In the Final A, Japan broke the Olympic record previously set by the Netherlands in the quarterfinal, to defeat the Dutch and win gold.
Japan and the Netherlands have been untouchable in the event recently, splitting every major competition since the 2014 Games.
PyeongChang has been historic for Japanese speed skating. Japanese women have now won five speed skating medals at the 2018 Games. Prior to these Games, Japanese women had won just four Olympic speed skating medals total.