Groothuis glides to gold in men’s 1,000m speed skating

Former world champion Stefan Groothuis claimed the men's Olympic 1,000m speed skating title at the Adler Arena, taking the Dutch gold medal haul on ice at these Games to four out of a possible five.

The 32-year-old beat Canada's Denny Morrison into second place, while fellow Dutchman Michel Mulder, who won the 500m gold earlier in the week, added a bronze to his personal haul.

Groothuis clocked 1 minute 8.39 seconds with Morrison in 1: 8.43 and Mulder clocking 1:8.74.

“When I started, I didn't even know what the best time was and when I crossed the finish line, I was really surprised. It was the best time I've ever skated on a low-altitude track,” admitted the new Olympic champion.

The victory was the culmination of a phenomenal two years for Groothuis, after taking time out from competition in 2011.

He bounced back in superb style to claim the World Cup and the world championship title, but his Olympic triumph in Sochi will figure as the greatest of his sporting achievements to date.

Third time of asking

It was a first ever medal for Groothuis at his third attempt over 1,000m; he finished eighth at Turin 2006 and fourth in Vancouver four years later.

“It's great, but it's also very strange,” reflected the Dutchman. “The last few days I've been thinking about it and suddenly I am Olympic champion. It's strange but I will get used to it.”

There was disappointment for the two-time defending champion Shani Davis of USA, who could only muster eighth.

Dutch skaters have impressed throughout the first week of competition in Sochi, during which Sven Kramer won the opening 5,000m for Holland with Ireen Wust taking the women's 3,000m and Mulder the men’s 500m.