Sang Hwa Lee wins gold in women's speed skating 500m
Christine Nesbitt top Canadian in 12th
Sang Hwa Lee skated a terrific pace in the final race, setting a new Olympic record of 37.28 for a combined time of 1:14.70, also an Olympic record. Lee won the gold medal, defending her title from the Vancouver Games.
Russians have a new medallist to cheer. Olga Fatkulina won the silver medal in front of the home crowd. Fatkulina finished with a combined time of 1:15.06.
Margot Boer became the first speed skater from the Netherlands to win a medal in the women's 500m, taking the bronze medal with a total time of 1:15.48.
Nesbitt was the fastest Canadian, finishing with a combined time of 1:17.15, finished 12th. She was assigned a false start in the second race but avoided a penalty with a clean start on the second attempt.
"I was better in my first race than in my second, which is very frustrating," Nesbitt said after the race. "I false-started in my second race, which took me off my guard."
Joining Nesbitt in today's races were Calgary's Anastasia Bucsis, Marsha Hudey of White City, Sask., and Danielle Wotherspoon-Gregg, from Red Deer, Alta. Hudey and Wotherspoon-Gregg are making their Olympic début.
Hudey was the first Canadian to race in the second race, finishing with a combined score of 1:19.22. Wotherspoon-Gregg finished with a combined time of 1:19.32. Anastasia Bucsis finished with a combined time of 1:18.52.
Nesbitt's priority is to use the 500m as a tune up ahead of the 1000m on Thursday; she is the defending Olympic champion.
"It's going to be tough on Thursday," she said. "The girls have stepped it up in the last four years and this season. I've got work to do, but that's why I'm here, to compete."