Inform your 2022 Winter Olympics predictions ahead of the speed skating competition with insight, analysis, and odds from Pinnacle.
Speed skating has featured at the Winter Olympics since the inaugural Winter Games back in 1924 in Chamonix, France; however, it was not until the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics that women's events were added to the speed skating programme.
There have been no new events added to the schedule from the 2018 Games, meaning there will again be a total of 14 events contested in the 2022 Games in China - seven for men and seven for women.
One change has been made in the number of skaters allowed per gender though, with the maximum quota now the same for men and women (83 skaters each). This is different from the 100 men and 80 women skaters seen in 2018.
The different events in speed skating
The seven male events at the 2022 Games are the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m, 10000m, Mass Start, and Team Pursuit, while the female events are the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m, Mass Start, and Team Pursuit.
The 500m is an even start and is run over one-and-a-quarter laps, the 1000m is a staggered start over two-and-a-half laps, while the 1500m is also a staggered start and is over three-and-three-quarter laps.
For the 3000m, which is only for the women, they adopt a staggered start and race over seven-and-a-half laps, while the 5000m is also staggered and is 12-and-a-half laps of the track. The 10000m, which is just for the men, is 25 laps and is a staggered start, while the Mass Start (for both men and women) is an even start and run over 16 laps. The Men's Team Pursuit is over eight laps and they start from the middle of opposite straights, while the Women's Team Pursuit begins from the same starting position but is raced over six laps.
Schedule for speed skating
The Women's 3000m is the first speed skating event of the 2022 Games, starting on Saturday, February 5 at the National Speed Skating Oval, with the Men's 5000m on February 6 and the Women's 1500m taking place the following day. It is then the turn of the men in the 1500m on February 8 before the action then returns on February 10 with the Women's 5000m.
On February 11, the Men's 10000m takes place, while a day later it's the quarter-finals of the Women's Team Pursuit and the Men's 500m. The men then compete in the quarter-finals of the Team Pursuit and the women go in the 500m on February 13.
February 15 is the finals of both the Men's and Women's Team Pursuit, while the Women's 1000m is on February 17 and the Men's 1000m takes place a day later. February 19 is the final day of speed skating action, with the Mass Start for both men and women bringing the events to a close.
Medal contenders for speed skating
The Netherlands have dominated speed skating at the Winter Olympics, and they sit top of the overall medal table with 121 - 42 gold, 40 silver, and 39 bronze. In terms of total medals, Norway are next in the list with 84 (27 gold, 29 silver, and 28 bronze), while the United States are third in the standings after amassing 68 medals (29 gold, 22 silver, 17 bronze).
Dutch sensation Suzanne Schulting (1.666*) won the Netherlands' first-ever gold in short track speed skating in the 1000m at the 2018 Winter Olympics and she is expected to challenge for gold again in Beijing. Ireen Wust is another of the Dutch team to keep an eye on. If the 35-year-old wins gold again in Beijing, she will become the first athlete to win gold medals in five Olympic Games - this record includes medals at both the Summer and Winter Games.
Of the male medal contenders, Sweden's Nils van der Poel, who is the only speed skater from his country to have qualified, should be right in the mix for gold. The 25-year-old won the 5000m and the 10000m at the 2021 World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships, setting a national record and a world record in those events respectively.