Olympic speed skating preview: Women’s team pursuit

Olympic speed skating preview: Team pursuit

How to watch

Monday, Feb. 18, 6:00 a.m.


What to watch for

The women’s team pursuit will be contested for the fourth time at the Olympics in PyeongChang.

Japanese women have dominated this event so far this season, winning each of the three World Cup races before the end of the year and breaking the world record three times. The contingent is led by sisters Miho and Nana Takagi. both of whom will contend in individual events as well. Miho has won a silver (1500m) and bronze (1000m) so far at the 2018 Games.

Miho has been the top 1500m skater this season, while Nana is the 2017 mass start world silver medalist.  After winning the world title in 2015, they finished second to the Dutch at last year’s Worlds, but it looks unlikely that anyone can usurp them this season.

The Dutch are field a strong team with 10-time Olympic medalist Ireen Wuest and 2018 3000m Olympic bronze medalist Antoinette de Jong. Wuest and de Jong have been key members over the past several seasons, helping the Dutch to gold at 2017 Worlds.

The event presents another medal opportunity for Claudia Pechstein to tie Wuest as the most decorated Olympian. At 45, she is also attempting to become the oldest Olympic medalist in speed skating, and the team pursuit final falls one day before her 46th birthday. She’s already set a record simply by competing at the Games, her seventh Olympic appearance. No woman has competed in more than six Olympic Winter Games. Germany won two World Cup medals earlier this season and finished fourth at 2017 Worlds.

The U.S. initially did not qualify a spot in this event, but earned one after quotas were reallocated. A team with Heather Bergsma and Brittany Bowe could be a dark horse for a medal, but the U.S. has not been strong in this event in recent seasons.

2014 Sochi Games medalists

Gold: Netherlands
Ireen Wuest
Marrit Leenstra
Jorien ter Mors
Lotte van Beek
Silver: Poland
Katarzyna Bachleda-Curus
Katarzyna Wozniak
Luiza Zlotkowska
Natalia Czerwonka
Bronze: Russia
Olga Graf
Yekaterina Lobysheva
Yuliya Skokova
Yekaterina Shikhova

2017 World Championships medalists

Gold: Netherlands
Marrit Leenstra
Ireen Wuest
Antoinette de Jong
Annouk van der Weijden

Silver: Japan (JPN)
Miho Takagi
Misaki Oshigiri
Nana Takagi
Ayano Sato

Bronze: Russia
Olga Graf
Natalya Voronina
Yekaterina Shikhova
Yelizaveta Kazelina