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A confusing conclusion to the men’s 500m speedskating final

Sochi Olympics Speedskating Men

Silver medallist Jan Smeekens of the Netherlands holds his head after completing the second heat for the men’s 500-meter speedskating race at the Adler Arena Skating Center at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

David J. Phillip

The Netherlands swept the podium in the men’s 500m speedskating event today at Adler Arena, but it took a moment to figure out how that podium was going to exactly look.

Michel Mulder was in gold position when teammate Jan Smeekens (pictured) took to the track as part of the final pairing of the competition.

When Smeekens crossed the stripe, it appeared he had narrowly out-hustled Mulder for the Olympic title as the scoreboard inside Adler initially had him in first place.

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But, unknown to everyone involved, a timing error had taken place and confusion ensued before it was made clear that Mulder had hung on for the gold by one one-hundredth of a second over Smeekens, with Michel’s twin brother, Ronald, getting the bronze.

Visit to watch the bizarre ending.

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