2 sports in 1 day yields Olympic record, no medal
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Jorien ter Mors’ busy day started with an Olympic record. It ended without the medal and piece of history she was hoping for.
Ter Mors began her Friday late afternoon at the Adler Arena, where she helped the Dutch long track team qualify for Saturday’s pursuit semifinal.
Without pushing too hard, the trio set an Olympic record before Ter Mors rushed over to the adjacent Iceberg Skating Palace only to be eliminated in the 1,000-meter semifinal and finish fifth.
A podium place would have made the 1,500 long track Olympic champion unique in Winter Games history as the only skater to win medals on both tracks.
“Now I will have to continue doing this for another four years,” Ter Mors said, already looking ahead to the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in South Korea.
Ter Mors finished fourth, fifth and sixth in her three short track races at the Sochi Games, tantalizingly close to medaling in the rough and tumble sport.
Even though she much prefers short track, results suggest she is better at long track where already has an Olympic gold medal and is a key fixture in the pursuit team which is also heavily favored to win gold.
She manages to seamlessly switch between two sports.
“I consciously try to see them as different worlds,” she said.
After warming up in the bowels of the Adler Arena, she got the team pursuit finished in an Olympic record by 6:44 p.m. She quickly stuffed her belongings in a backpack and rushed over to the neighboring short track hall, where she pulled on a different suit, different skates and a different attitude for her 8:54 p.m. 1,000 quarterfinal, from which she advanced to the 9:28 p.m. semifinals.
That was as good as it got. Psychological preparations rather than physical exhaustion cost her a place in the final.
“I was looking for too much mental relaxation and lacked that edge at the start. And I could not get it back,” she said. She appeared lethargic for most of the race, before a strong finish. She wound up third in a race from which only two advanced.
At 10 p.m. she won the skate for fifth place. Minutes later, when she left the rink, only beads of sweat on her upper lip were an indication what kind of day she had had.
“In the end it really was fun,” she said. “It was an excellent day.”
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