Shani Davis falls short again, takes 11th in 1,500-meter final

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

Shani Davis not only didn't medal, but wasn't even top 10 on Saturday. (USATSI)
Shani Davis not only didn't medal, but wasn't even top 10 on Saturday. (USATSI)

The story in America will be Shani Davis falling all the way to 11th in an event he hoped to take gold in.

Internationally, it's the Dutch not winning and being edged out by three one-thousandths of a second. That's the miniscule, can-hardly-see-it difference. That was what separated the gold and silver medal in the men's 1,500-meter long track speed skating final Saturday.

Poland's Zbigniew Brodka surprisingly came away with the top spot, crossing in 1:45.006, beating out the Netherlands' Koen Verweij's 1:45.009. Canada's Denny Morrison, who medaled in the 1,000 meters earlier in the week, took bronze (1:45.22).

Davis' 1:45.98 placed him 11th, one spot ahead of the man who won gold in the 1,000 at these Olympics, the Netherlands' Stefan Groothuis (1:46.08).

Davis, a favorite to win the 1,000 earlier in the week, was not only looking to find the podium here but also get a little bit of redemption after his shocking no-show in the 1,000. That event was his bread and butter, the one he'd taken the gold in at the past two Olympics.

He took silver at the past two Olympiads in Saturday's event. Leaving Sochi without any hardware in either race is a massive disappointment for him, no doubt. The highest-placing American in the 1,500 wound up being Brian Hansen. Hansen's 1:45.59 gave him seventh.

Dutch defending champion Mark Tuitert, gold medal winner at the Vancouver Games, took fifth.

The United States switched the suits it raced in, after complaints over the Under Armour ensemble in earlier speed events may have been a factor. Though that doesn't appear to have been a factor on Saturday. Davis finished lower in the 1,500 than he did in the 1,000. And American Jonathan Kuck also didn't perform as well.

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