Jan Smeekens ended The Netherlands' wait for a men’s 500 metres gold at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships by triumphing here in Gangneung today.
The 29-year-old, who finished as the silver medallist in the discipline at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, produced an impressive display over the shortest distance contested at the Championships.
Smeekens would clock a time of 34.58 seconds to top the standings at the event, with Germany's Nico Ihle second in 34.66.
Russia’s Ruslan Murashov, the silver medallist in 2016, rounded off the podium positions after achieving a time of 34.72 in the final pairing of the event.
While Smeekens became the first Dutchman to win the event since it was introduced in 1996, his triumph also ensured the country are the first to have won all of the men's events in the Championship’s history.
Their men’s team pursuit line-up would continue to dominate the discipline, clocking a time of 3min 40.66sec.
New Zealand would prove their nearest competition as they ended in 3:31.08, while Norway secured third place after finishing in 3:41.60.
The women’s team pursuit event would see a close battle between The Netherlands and Japan, with the two nations the final line-ups on the ice.
Victory was claimed by the Dutch team in 2:55.85, with their rivals 0.65 seconds off the pace to end as the runners-up.
Russia would complete the top three, as their team ended the event in 3:00.51.
The host nation were denied their first gold medal of the Championships when Nao Kodaira of Japan achieved a time of 37.13.
Sang-Hwa Lee would have to settle for the silver, with the South Korean ending in 37.57.
China’s Jing Yu rounded off the top three in a time of 37.57.
Competition is set to continue tomorrow, with the Championships, a test event for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, then drawing to a close on Sunday (February 12).