The women’s 3000m will be the first speed skating event of the 2018 Winter Olympics. The event is jam-packed with stars as three gold medalists in the event face-off.
February 10, 6:00 a.m. ET
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Ireen Wuest, Netherlands: Wuest won the event at the 2006 and 2014 Games. After winning the event at last season’s world championships, Wuest did not have an ideal World Cup season this fall only managing a 3000m bronze in Calgary. Despite this, due to her pedigree Wuest is medal contender in the event in PyeongChang.
Antoinette de Jong, Netherlands: De Jong will be one of Wuest’s biggest competitors. The training mates have been facing off all season with de Jong beating Wuest in the event at Dutch trials in late December. De Jong will be competing in her second Olympics in PyeongChang after somewhat unexpectedly qualifying for the Sochi Games four years ago.
Miho Takagai, Japan: Takagai enters the 2018 games in red-hot form winning each of the first four 1500m World Cup races last season. Takagai also proved dangerous in the 3000m winning the event at the World Cup in Calgary. The Japanese skater enters PyeongChang with a chip on her shoulder after narrowly missing out on Sochi.
Martina Sablikova, Czech Republic: Sablikova was slowed by an early-season back injury and finished on the World Cup podium only once in the 3000m in the first four World Cup events. If she is healthy, Sablikova should still contend. She won silver in the 3000m at last season's world championships.
Claudia Pechstein, Germany: Pechstein is the most decorated speed skater in Olympic history with nine medals, and could contend in this event, though she is typically stronger in the 5000m. She would be the oldest ever Olympic medalist in speed skating if she makes the podium at age 45, and will break the record for most appearances by a female athlete at the Olympic Winter Games simply by toeing the line in Pyeongchang, which will be her seventh Games.
Carlijn Schoutens: Schoutens is the lone American entry in the event. Schoutens was born in New Jersey, but grew up in the speed skating hotbed that is the Netherlands. Schoutens moved back to the United States in 2016 in hopes of qualifying for the Olympics as a member of Team USA and did so after winning the 3000m at the U.S. Olympic Trials.