Brodka wins 1,500 gold for Poland; Davis 11th

The Sports NetworkFebruary 15, 2014 

Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Poland's Zbigniew Brodka claimed his country's first gold medal in Olympic speedskating, winning the men's 1,500 meters by mere thousandths of a second.

Brodka and Koen Verweij of the Netherlands both finished the race in 1 minutes, 45 seconds, but after the times were adjusted to the next decimal point the Polish skater was ahead by .006 seconds.

It's the first Olympic medal for Brodka, who was 27th in the 1,500 at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Verweij also claimed his first medal at a Winter Games.

Canadian Denny Morrison, who was ninth in this event in Vancouver and a surprise silver medalist in the 1,000 meters earlier this week, claimed bronze with a time of 1:45.22.

American Shani Davis finished 11th in the event, crossing the finish line .98 seconds after Brodka. Davis won silver in this event and a gold in the 1,000 four years ago in Vancouver, but is still without a medal in Sochi. He placed eighth in the 1,000 and 24th in the 500.

Brian Hansen had the best showing for a U.S. skater, placing seventh with a time of 1:45.59 seconds.

The U.S. team switched suits for this event, ditching the new uniform made by Under Armour specifically for the Sochi Games in favor of an earlier model. The suits worn on Saturday -- also made by Under Armour -- were previously used by the Americans at World Cup races and the Olympic trials. The suit change was approved by the International Skating Union hours before Saturday's event.

However, the costume change did little to change the results on the ice, as the Americans continued to struggle at Adler Arena. The U.S. has failed to claim a single speedskating medal at the Sochi Games after winning four at the 2010 Vancouver Games. All of the medals four years ago came on the men's side with Davis leading the way with a second straight gold in the 1,000 while also adding his silver in the 1,500.

Americans Joey Mantia and Jonathan Kuck finished in 22nd and 37th place, respectively.

The Dutch men failed to win gold in men's speedskating for the first time in Sochi. The Netherlands still has nine of the 12 total medals -- three gold, three silver and three bronze -- awarded for men's speedskating at these Olympics.

Dutch skater Mark Tuitert was the defending gold medalist in this event and came in fifth place on Saturday. Countryman Stefan Groothuis, winner of the 1,000 in Sochi, finished 12th.

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