Winter Olympics results: Speed skating women’s 500m

Team USA hoped to break through for its first long track speed skating medal of the PyeongChang Olympics in Sunday’s women’s 500m.

Racing for America in the event were returning Olympians Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe and rookie Erin Jackson.

American long track speed skaters, including Bergsma and Bowe, were shut out four years ago in Sochi and were 0-for-6 in PyeongChang heading into the 500m.

Bowe nearly held on for a medal, but finished just off the podium in fifth place less than two-tenths of a second behind the bronze medal winner.

Japan’s Nao Kodaira won speed skating’s sprint taking the gold medal with a time of 36.94. Host country favorite Sang-Hwa Lee of Korea took home the silver medal finishing .39 behind Kodaira. Karolina Erbanova of the Czech Republic finished with the bronze.

It was the first race without a medal winner from the Netherlands. Dutch skaters have dominated the long track speed skating events in PyeongChang so far, capturing all but one of the golds awarded before the 500m and winning 11 out of the 24 overall medals.

Bowe, a 29-year-old from Ocala, Florida, topped Bergsma in both the 500m and the 1500m at the U.S. Olympic team trials. Bowe is a three-time medalist in the 1000m at the world championships, winning gold in 2015 and bronze in 2013 and 2016.

Bowe has turned in Team USA’s best long track speed skating performances in South Korea so far, finishing fourth in the 1000m and fifth in the 1500m. She will also be part of the team pursuit event with Bergsma.

Bergsma, 28, of High Point, North Carolina, the reigning world champion in the 1000m, finished 11th..

Earlier this week, she finished eighth in both the 1500m and the 1000m. She will also compete in the team pursuit and the newly added mass start in PyeongChang.

Jackson, 25, of Ocala, Florida, is the first African-American woman to qualify for a U.S. Olympic long track speed skating team. She made her PyeongChang debut in the 500m, finishing 24th out of 31 skaters.