Speed skater Lee Seung-hoon finishes fourth in men’s 10,000 meters

February 18, 2014

(Yonhap) — South Korean speed skater Lee Seung-hoon finished fourth in the men’s 10,000 meters on Tuesday at the Sochi Winter Games, falling short of defending his Olympic gold in the distance.

Lee clocked at 13:11.68 in the 25-lap race at Adler Arena Skating Center, more than 27 seconds behind the champion, Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands.

The Dutch skater set an Olympic record time of 12:44.45, shattering Lee’s previous mark, set in Vancouver, by more than 14 seconds. He led the fourth Dutch sweep of the speed skating podium in Sochi, as Sven Kramer took the silver in 12:49.02 and Bob De Jong earned the bronze in 13:07.19.

At the 2010 Olympics, Lee won the 10,000m in 12:58.55. He’d finished the race in second place behind Kramer, more than four seconds slower, but Kramer was later disqualified for a missed lane change.

On Tuesday, Lee and Kramer skated next to each other in the seventh and the last pairing. They were neck and neck early on but the South Korean dropped off considerably after 10 laps. Lee ran out of gas in the final stretch and ended up nearly five seconds behind De Jong for the last spot on the podium.

Kramer avoided mishap this time, but couldn’t quite catch up to his Dutch teammate.

Earlier in Sochi, Lee finished 12th in the 5,000m, the same event in which he won the silver medal in Vancouver.

Lee will have one final chance to salvage his Olympics in the team pursuit competition that starts on Friday.