Jan Smeekens first Dutch skater to win gold for 500 meters

Jan Smeekens
Jan Smeekens. Photo: @jansmeekens / Twitter

Dutch skater Jan Smeekens won the gold medal in the World Championships Single Distance 500 meters at the Gangneung Olympic track on Friday. He is the first Dutch ever to win gold for 500 meters, NU.nl reports.

Smeekens finished with a time of 34.58, winning his gold medal. Nico Ihle (Germany) took silver with 34.66 and Ruslan Murashov (Russia) took bronze with 34.76. 

The 500 meters Single Distance was first raced in 1996. Since then the gold medal went to Japan seven times, South Korea five times, Canada three times, Russia twice and now once to the Netherlands. 

While Smeekens is the first Dutchman to win gold in the 500 meters, he is not the first Dutch to reach the podium. In the past the Nethelrands won silver three times and bronze four times in this race. Smeekens won one of those bronze medals in 2011. 

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