Ice Network

Salt Lake shavings: Fredricks laments mental lapse

Numerous records set over course of three days; Bowe has famous fan
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Tucker Fredricks knows he cannot afford any mistakes at the start line if he expects to make the Olympic team. -Getty Images

Speed skaters practice every aspect of their racing technique so much, it becomes almost involuntary.

But Tucker Fredricks said he may actually practice false starts after a mental lapse cost him a decent time in his second 500-meter race of the week.

When he lined up at the red start line for Sunday's race, he put his hand on the line. He'd been called back for placing his blade on that line before, so he thought he was going to be called back or disqualified.

That led to a lackluster performance in his final race at the Utah Olympic Park in Kearns, Utah.

"I just kind of skated," he said with a shrug. "I don't feel too happy about it."

He said he has to work on not making any mental mistakes, as there will not be second chances should he make the Olympic team.

"It's something I've got to work on, especially with false starts," he said. "I will have to practice racing, and maybe false starts on purpose, then go back and do it again. Just my position on the line kind of screwed me up."

Fastest ice on earth

After setting a new world record in the 1,000 meters, Brittany Bowe said any debates about which city has the fastest ice should be finished.

"I couldn't be happier -- here in front of U.S. fans on U.S. ice -- and I think this weekend overall proves that the Utah Olympic Oval does, in fact, have the fastest ice on earth," she said smiling.

The number of records set in the three-day competition tends to support her assertion. According to speedskatingresults.com, there were 57 national records set, 10 junior national records, two junior world records and four world records. The website doesn't list results for the team pursuits, but both the U.S. men and women set national records in their races.

The Netherlands' men's pursuit team set a new world record, while that country's women set a new national record. Both were fast enough to earn gold.

Former world record holder in the house

The woman who held the 1,000-meter world record that Bowe broke was Canadian Christine Nesbitt, whose time of 1:12.68 was set in Calgary in January 2012. That was third time in a row that particular mark had been broken in Calgary, and by a Canadian woman.

Nesbitt competed in Sunday's 1,000 meters, but she finished in 12th place with a time of 1:14.22.

A famous fan

As Bowe waited for the 1,000 meters medal ceremony, she accepted congratulations and hugs from other competitors, coaches and a few fans. One of those was speed skating icon Dan Jansen, who won an Olympic gold medal in the 1,000 meters in Lillehammer, Norway.

It was the final race of his career, which included three Olympic appearances. He was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004.

After hugging Bowe, he told her that her time of 1:12.58 was "dangerously close to my best time."

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