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The third day of speedskating competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics could be an historic one.
Ireen Wust of the Netherlands has a chance to join elite company if she finishes in the top three of the women’s 1,500 meters.
Wust, 31, won her ninth Olympic medal on Saturday in the 3,000 meters, which means she can join elite company with her 10th medal on Monday.
The decorated speedskater also has a chance to rewrite the Dutch Olympic record book, but as we witnessed on Saturday in the women’s 3,000 meters, an unexpected winner can emerge on the Olympic ice.
Date: Monday, February 12
Start Time: 7:30 a.m. ET
Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com
Wust Going for 10th Olympic Medal
Wust kicked off her time in Pyeongchang with a silver medal in the women’s 3,000 meters, and she’s looking for more on Monday along with the rest of the Dutch team.
As talented as the Dutch squad may be, Wust will have all the attention on her as she searches for her 10th Olympic medal.
The 31-year-old won a remarkable five medals in Sochi, including gold in the 3,000 meters and team pursuit. She also won gold in the 1,500 meters in Vancouver and the 3,000 meters in Turin. In addition to her four golds, Wust has a collection of four silvers and a bronze.
If she takes first on Monday, Wust will become the first athlete from the Netherlands to win five gold medals.
Peter Dejong/Associated Press
Wust talked about her motivation entering the 1,500 meters following her silver-medal performance in the 3,000 meters, per Reuters’ Simon Jennings.
“My dream was to have four Olympics — Turin, Vancouver and Sochi I won gold, and to win gold again here in Pyeongchang but I have another chance on Monday. I‘m looking forward to that. I‘m always determined for gold but maybe now a little extra.”
Not only does Wust have a chance to make Dutch Olympic history on Monday, she also has a chance to become the sixth Winter Olympian to win 10 or more medals.
Is Takagi Capable of Upsetting Wust and Winning Gold?
Japan’s Miho Takagi is trying to become the first gold medalist from outside the Netherlands in the 1,500 meters since 2006.
The Japanese skater is also aiming to be just the third non-Dutch medalist since 2010 after a medal sweep occurred four years ago.
Takagi experienced success on the Olympic ice a year ago at the World Championships by finishing third in the 1,500 meters
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Her victory on the World Cup circuit in Salt Lake City on December 9 gave her confidence that she can go head-to-head with the Dutch women as she beat out Marrit Leenstra for first place.
Monday marks Takagi’s second Olympic appearance, as she took 23rd in the 1,500 meters eight years ago in Vancouver.
However, she isn’t the only non-Dutch speed skater looking to capture gold on Monday, as Heather Bergsma of the United States is one of the top medal contenders.
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