Bloemen was so far ahead of his Dutch rival Sven Kramer that his coach was already giving the Canadian a victory hug when Kramer still had 2,000 metres to skate.
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA—Ted-Jan Bloemen won Canada’s first gold medal in the men’s 10,000 metres in long-track speedskating Thursday in Pyeongchang.
The 31-year-old, who moved from the Netherlands to Calgary four years ago to compete for Canada, won in Olympic-record time of twelve minutes, 39.11 seconds.
Dutchman Jorrit Bergsma, the 2014 victor in the 10k, was second and briefly held the Olympic record with a time of 12:41.98 until Bloemen erased it in the next pairing.
Toronto’s Jordan Belchos finished fifth with a career-best time of 12:59.51.
Bloemen claimed his second medal of the games after taking silver behind Dutch star Sven Kramer in the 5,000 metres Tuesday.
Kramer skated in the final 10k pairing, but didn’t challenge Bloemen and placed sixth. Bloemen was so far ahead of his Dutch rival that coach Bart Schouten was already giving the Canadian a victory hug when Kramer still had 2,000 metres to skate.
Bloemen expressed disappointment at not having more in the tank after the 5k, when he beat Norway’s Sverre Lunde Pederson by a mere blade tip in their pairing for second place.
But Bloemen was powerful Thursday, taking the lead 2,500 metres into the race and holding his pace.
Bloemen flung his arms in the air with joy after crossing the line, knowing he’d put down a time that would be tough for Kramer to beat.
The Canadian knocked almost five seconds off Kramer’s 10k world record at a World Cup Nov. 21, 2015, when he put down a time of 12 minutes 36.30 seconds on the notoriously fast ice in Salt Lake City.
Bloemen’s father Gerhard-Jan was born in Bathurst, N.B., and lived in Canada for seven years before his family returned to the Netherlands.
Since arriving in Calgary in the spring of 2014, Bloemen has obtained his Canadian citizenship and married his Dutch wife Marlinde in a ceremony in Calgary.
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