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Olympics-Speed skating-Bowe bids to end long U.S. wait in women’s 1,000m – Metro US

Olympics-Speed skating-Bowe bids to end long U.S. wait in women’s 1,000m

Speed Skating – Women’s 1500m
Speed Skating – Women’s 1500m

BEIJING (Reuters) – The absence of the 2018 Olympic champion leaves the women’s 1,000 metres speed skating wide open, with American Brittany Bowe seeking to become the first American to win a medal in the event for 20 years.

Bowe set the world record of one minute 11.61 seconds three years ago and has taken encouragement from fellow American Erin Jackson’s victory in the 500m on Sunday.

“I hope that can be a springboard for something special to happen here in the next couple of days,” Bowe said.

“Hopefully, I find myself there on the podium and hopefully a gold one in the 1,000m. So that’s a great momentum builder for sure,” she added.

After 2018 champion Jorien ter Mors failed to qualify, the Dutch team pegged their hopes on Jutta Leerdam to add to their Beijing medal haul in speed skating.

She has set the second fastest time overall this season, clocking 1:12.25, and finished fifth in the 500m in Beijing, but she is hoping to get on the podium in her favoured 1,000m race.

“My full lap in the 500m was really fast, that promises a lot for the 1,000. I’ll go for nothing less than gold. That is my goal and I am not afraid to say it,” Leerdam said.

Her compatriot Ireen Wust, who has won six Olympic gold medals in her career, will also be racing and the Dutch team will face tough competition in the form of Japan’s Miho Takagi.

Takagi, who clocked the fastest time this season of 1:11.83, has won two individual medals in Beijing, finishing second in the 1,500m behind Wust and winning a surprise silver in the 500.

“It’s my last race in this long Olympics. I want to give it everything,” said Takagi who won the bronze medal in Pyeongchang four years ago.

(Reporting by Sakura Murakami, editing by Ed Osmond)

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