Sochi, Russian Federation (4E Sports) – The Netherlands won both speed skating gold medals in team pursuit Saturday, bringing their gold medal haul to eight and to 23 medals overall.
Blokhuijsen, Sven Kramer and Koen Verweij took the country’s first gold ever in men’s pursuit, cruising through the semifinals and finals with an Olympic record time of 3 minutes, 37.71 seconds.
Then Ireen Wust, Jorien ter Mors and Marrit Leenstra blew away Poland in women’s with their third Olympic record time in three races. They led by more than a second and a half after the first half-lap and steadily building the advantage from there, winning by more than 7 seconds in 2:58.05.
Wust became the first athlete at these Winter Games with five medals — two golds and three silvers.
Netherland’s eight golds in 12 events broke the previous record of six golds by the Soviet speedskaters at the 1960 Winter Games. The total medals blew away the old mark of 13 by the East Germans at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.
South Korea won silver while Poland captured the brronze on the men’s side.
Poland won the silver in the women’s race with Russia claiming the bronze.
Former powerhouses such as Norway and the United States didn’t win even a single medal in Sochi.