| Event type

5,000 metres, Women

Date16 February 2018 — 20:00
LocationGangneung Oval, Gangneung Olympic Park, Coastal Cluster, Gangneung
Participants12 from 9 countries
Olympic Record 6:46.91 WR / Claudia Pechstein GER / 23 February 2002
StarterOh Yong-SeokKOR
RefereeBert TimmermanNED

Since 2007, the 5,000 m had been dominated by Czech skater Martina Sáblíková. In over a decade, she had claimed 9 consecutive World Championships in the event, as well as the 2010 and 2014 Olympic titles (and a 4th place in 2006), and 11 consecutive long distance World Cups. She also bettered the world record twice, lowering it to 6:42.66 in 2011. But in the 2017/2018, Sáblíková had struggled with her form, following a pre-season injury. In the event’s only appearance at the World Cup, in Stavanger, she did place third, with victory going to Claudia Pechstein. Although a 3-time Olympic champion in the event, Pechstein hadn’t won a race internationally in three years and was 45 at the time. In 2017, though, she had finished second at the World Championships (behind Sáblíková). Third place there went to Canada’s Ivanie Blondin, who also came second in Stavanger.

The contest opened with Annouk van der Weijden of Netherlands with a sub-7 minute race, with 6:54.17, a personal best about 2 seconds slower than Sáblíková’s track record. It held up through the first half of the field. She was first challenged by her compatriot, Esmee Visser. A surprise qualifier at the Dutch trials, she had won the inaugural European 3,000 m title earlier in the year. Visser trailed Van der Weijden’s time until halfway, then pulled away to a strong finish at 6:50.23, the fastest time at the Olympics since the high-altitude competition in Salt Lake City 2002. Both Pechstein and Blondin attempted to follow along with Visser’s splits, but lost touch after 2,600 m and faded to non-medal finishes. The final pair seemed to follow a similar pattern: Sáblíková and Nataliya Voronina had the same split as Visser at 2,200 m, but then failed to keep up. However, Sáblíková managed to limit damage, and kept within two seconds, crossing the line in 6:51.85. Behind her Voronina also hung on, beating Van der Weijden to the bronze by a few tenths. Visser, who had never raced an international 5,000 m event at senior level, was shocked and ecstatic at her victory - the first by a Dutch skater in the event since 1988. Sáblíková’s second place made her the second Olympian for Czech Republic to win six medals, tying Kateřina Neumannová.

14OEsmee VisserNED6:50.23Gold
26OMartina SáblíkováCZE6:51.85Silver
36INataliya VoroninaROC6:53.98Bronze
41IAnnouk van der WeijdenNED6:54.17
55IIvanie BlondinCAN6:59.38
63OIsabelle WeidemannCAN6:59.88
71OMaryna ZuyevaBLR7:04.41
85OClaudia PechsteinGER7:05.43
94IMisaki OshigiriJPN7:07.71
102IJelena PeetersBEL7:10.26
112OCarlijn SchoutensUSA7:13.28
123INana TakagiJPN7:17.45