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Thomas Krol wins men's 1000m, fifth speed skating gold medal for Netherlands

Thomas Krol wins men's 1000m, fifth speed skating gold medal for Netherlands
Posted at 1:46 AM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 06:57:58-05

Thomas Krol of the Netherlands won the men's 1000m speed skating event on Friday for his first career gold medal.

Krol overcame a slow start to get there. His opening 200-meter time of 16.60 seconds was well behind the pace needed for gold. It was not until the final 400 meters when Krol put himself in position to win the race with a final time of 1:07.92.

"I knew I had to set a really fast time," Krol said. "I had a pretty solid race, I did nothing really wrong. But I expected it to be a bit faster, so when I crossed the line I didn't expected it to be enough."

Canada's Laurent Dubreuil shot off the starting line and was leading the pace through 600 meters. He faded fast on his final split and missed the win by 0.40 seconds to secure silver. 

Haavard Lorentzen of Norway earned the bronze medal. 

Krol is competing at his first Olympic Games. He qualified for the 1000m in 2018, but the Dutch team replaced him with Kai Verbij, who did not race the 1000m at trials due to injury. 

He later won the World Cup championship in the 1000m in 2019-2020 and bested Kjeld Nuis, the defending Olympic gold medalist, at Dutch Trials in December. 

"This is really a dream coming true," Krol said. "To pull it off is just amazing."

He earned his first medal last week in the 1500m, finishing second behind Nuis after setting the Olympic record. 

SEE MORE: Dutch skater Kjeld Nuis sets Olympic record to win gold in men's 1500m

Dubreuil earned his first career trip to the podium on Friday following a fourth-place finish in the 500m. The Canadian's first 200 meters clocked at 16.09 seconds, but his closing 400 meters were 1.13 seconds slower than Krol's.

The typical sprinter said afterward that his expectations were higher in the 500m, and bouncing back is something he is proud of. 

"I'm speechless," Dubreuil said. "It took a lot of belief and a lot of support to turn things around."

Lorentzen captured his third career Olympic medal. He and Krol raced in the same pairing, and his draft helped the eventual gold medalist. 

The 29-year-old Norwegian finished 0.16 seconds back of second.

He earned silver in 2018 but has dealt with back and hip injuries in the time since.

"The medal means a lot," Lorentzen said. "I’ve been working really hard to come back to where I am. Without support from family and friends, it wouldn’t have been possible."

SEE MORE: 17-year-old Jordan Stolz closes first Olympics with 1000m

Jordan Stolz was the top United States skater in the event with a time of 1:09.12. He finished in 14th place and said afterward he hoped for a better result. 

The 17-year-old is the third-youngest American speed skater to perform at the Olympics after Emery Lehman and Eric Heiden. He also finished 13th in the 500m. 

Austin Kleba was the second American competitor in the event. He replaced Joey Mantiawho did not skate due to back issues. Kleba, 22, finished 29th. 

Dutch skaters have won five of 10 individual gold medals at the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

The mass start competitions are the last events on the slate. They begin Saturday at 2 a.m. ET. 

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