Bloemen ends Dutch dominance at the Olympic Oval

Bloemen sets new Olympic record on way to 10000m speed skating crown

He still had to wait for Kramer, though, a man with the ability to chase anyone and everyone down.

He and coach Bart Schouten hugged when Kramer still had 2k to go in the race.

Dutch-born Bloemen, second on Sunday to Kramer in the 5,000m, burst into tears when the result was confirmed, with Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands taking silver and the Italian Nicola Tumolero bronze.

In a surprising turn of events, Kramer, who won silver in the event in Sochi, finished well off the podium in 6th, in an uncharacteristic time of 13:01.02.

Canada's Jordan Belchos finished fifth in 12:59.51. Belchos says when he races the 10k he feels like a lobster being brought to a boil. "That's the dream right, is to have your best race at the Olympics".

But Kramer fell well behind, never a threat to Bloemen, who raced around his 27 laps well ahead of his competitors, winning Canada's second ever medal in the men's 10,000m, the other coming in 1932, a bronze won by Frank Stack.

If anything, Bloemen is living proof that precisely because of the abundance of talent in the Netherlands the country's system is - if only rarely - fallible and that late bloomers in the sport can sometimes slip through the cracks. Since the move, Bloemen has blossomed into the skater he always thought he could be, not only establishing himself as one of Canada's leading medal threats in long-track, but also doing the unthinkable: breaking two of Kramer's world records.

It marked his worst result in a 10,000m global competition since coming ninth in a World Cup race in Heerenveen in December 2011.

When he arrived at the Olympics, he did so as the world record holder in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres and he set both records after moving to Canada.

Asked last weak if beating Kramer's records is a bit like defeating a legend like Roger Federer at tennis during his prime, Bloemen laughed.

"Everything changed for me", Bloemen said of his move to North America.

The roots of Ted-Jan Bloemen will have many saying his Olympic gold medal in speedskating is at least part Dutch.



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