|Date||12 February 2022 — 16:53|
|Location||National Speed Skating Oval, Olympic Green, Beijing|
|Participants||30 from 15 countries|
China was hoping to get their first male speed skating gold through Gao Tingyu. The 2018 bronze medalist had clocked three sub-34-second races in the season, and set an unofficial world record at the Tomaszów-Mazowiecki World Cup, opening in 9.32 seconds. Gao, however, had plenty of contenders to fight off. Reigning World Champion Laurent Dubreuil was also leading the World Cup standings, and two of Japan’s entries – Wataru Morishige and Tatsuya Shinhama – had also won races earlier in the season. Missing from the field was world record holder Pavel Kulizhnikov. The three-time World Champion had had a poor season and did not qualify for the strong ROC team.
As he had not raced in all World Cup races, Gao was the first of the favorites to start, and he immediately set a tough target for the others. Following a 9.42 opening, he bested the Olympic Record with 34.32. In the tenth pair, 2018 silver medalist Cha Min-Gyu recorded the best full lap of the field (24.75), which landed him at 34.39, second behind. After him, many the outsiders for a medal fell short – Michalski (35.52), Arefyev (34.56), Murakami (34.57). Only in the penultimate pair did Morishige come close to the leading times, 34.49, guaranteeing Gao a medal. The final race between Dubreuil and Shinhama then saw the Canadian controversially false start. Replays showed no signs of a false start, while earlier Gao had not been completely still. Possibly affected, Shinhama then stumbled in the first metres, throwing away his shot at a medal. Dubreuil did continue at full pace, but with 34.52 just fell out of the podium.
With Gao’s gold, Cha’s silver and Morishige’s bronze medal, all the medalists were from Asia, the second time this had occurred, the first time being in Vancouver 2010.
|15||11O||Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen||NOR||34.921||9.90|