Wust bur­nishes leg­end

Gold for Dutch star; Al­berta’s Tutt ‘gains ex­pe­ri­ence’

Ottawa Citizen - - WINTER OLYMPICS - DAN BARNES dbarnes@post­media.com Twit­ter: @sports­dan­barnes

Bri­anne Tutt won’t be telling any­body that she pushed the great Dutch speed­skater Ireen Wust to an epic gold medal at the Olympics. Too many video cam­eras would prove that a gen­er­ous ex­ag­ger­a­tion.

“Maybe in that first cor­ner, when I gave her a sick draft, I’ll take credit for that,” chuck­led Tutt, who was paired with Wust but fin­ished 15th in the women’s 1,500 me­tres. “But that’s about all I helped her with.”

Wust up­set Ja­pan’s Miho Tak­agi, who won all four World Cup 1,500-me­tre races this sea­son. Mar­rit Leen­stra of The Nether­lands was third. It’s a bit strange to call it an up­set, of course, given that Wust won her ninth Olympic medal and fifth gold and will re­tire af­ter these Games as the most dec­o­rated skater of her gen­er­a­tion.

But Tak­agi had been on fire ear­lier in the sea­son. Tutt also had bet­ter re­sults in the fall, and her fifth-place fin­ish in Cal­gary was the pin­na­cle. It had raised her ex­pec­ta­tions for her sec­ond trip to the Olympics. And she did improve on a 35th-place fin­ish in Sochi. It just wasn’t enough for her.

“I ex­pected at least a top-six fin­ish in this event,” con­tin­ued Tutt, a 25-year-old from Air­drie, Alta. “I couldn’t fig­ure out the ice. I couldn’t get a good feel for the past week.

“I had pneu­mo­nia about a month and a half, two months ago. My fit­ness wasn’t there to com­pete at a good level.

“But I gave it my all in that race. I got the chance to race the Olympic cham­pion at that dis­tance. It was some­thing re­ally cool that I will re­mem­ber. Gain some ex­pe­ri­ence and learn from it.”

Tutt’s team­mates didn’t fare as well. Kali Christ was 19th and Josie Mor­ri­son was 21st in a field of 27.

LEAH HEN­NEL

Al­berta’s Bri­anne Tutt placed 15th in the women’s 1,500-me­tre speed­skat­ing fi­nal at the Gangne­ung Oval on Mon­day.

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