Wednesday, Feb. 21, 6:00 a.m. ET
Japan: Japanese women have dominated this event so far this season, winning each of the three World Cup races before the end of 2017 and breaking the world record three times. The contingent is led by sisters Miho and Nana Takagi. Miho has won a silver (1500m) and bronze (1000m) so far at the 2018 Games. Miho has been the top 1500m skater this season, while Nana is the 2017 mass start world silver medalist. After winning the world title in 2015, they finished second to the Dutch at last year's Worlds.
Canada: The Canadians have not won a medal in the women's team pursuit since 2006, but are aiming for one in PyeongChang after finishing third in the quarterfinal. "I definitely think we've got more to give and can win a medal," Blondin said following the quarterfinals. At the 2017 Worlds, Canada finished in eighth place.
Netherlands: The Netherlands broke the Olympic record in the quarterfinals with a time of 2:55.61. The Dutch field a strong team with 10-time Olympic medalist Ireen Wuest and 2018 3000m Olympic bronze medalist Antoinette de Jong. Wuest and de Jong have been key members over the past several seasons, helping the Dutch to gold at the 2017 Worlds.
"We are a really strong team. It was a solid race, not our best. The best will come in the final," Ireen Wuest said after the quarterfinal.
United States: The United States’ bold strategy helped them qualify for the team pursuit semifinals.
"I'm more of an endurance (skater) so they stuck me at the end. They (fellow team pursuit skaters Brittany Bowe and Heather Bergsma, are obviously the fastest women in the world, so we used their speed in the first half of the race to get us up to speed and carry that speed, and then hopefully with my endurance strength, carry us to the line."
It will be interesting to see if the U.S. opt for the same strategy with a medal on the line. Carlijn Schoutens is also available for Team USA and can be substituted in for Manganello, Bowe, or Bergsma.
Antoinette de Jong
Annouk van der Weijden