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Joey Mantle finally takes his first medal in the third Olympics.

The 36-year-old American along with Casey Dawson and Emery Lehmann won bronze in the team pursuit race on Tuesday. It was the second medal in speed skating for the United States in Beijing. Erin Jackson won gold in the 500 meters.

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“I feel that the burden has been lifted in a sense,” Mantia said. “Now I can just breathe.”

At 36 years and 8 days, the Mantle is the oldest winner in the team race, beating Rinte Ritzma from the Netherlands, who in 2006 was 35 years 308 days old.

It was the first American medal in men’s skating since the 2010 Vancouver Games.

The mantle was the favorite for gold in its first race in Beijing, but finished sixth in the 1500s.

“The Olympics are such an amp, so when you work out, it amplifies it, and if you’re not quite involved, it amplifies it,” he said. “It creates a big gap between who is and who isn’t.”

The men from the US were the favorites for gold medals in the team race after setting a world record in 3 minutes 34.47 seconds in the December World Cup race in Salt Lake City.

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The mantle was knocked out in the semifinals when Ethan Chepuran joined Dawson and Lehmann in a second-best record. But the Russians set an Olympic record of 3: 36.61 and reached the final.

Thus, Mantle, Dawson and Lehmann faced veteran Sven Kramer and the Netherlands in the final B. The USA won with a score of 3: 38.80, ahead of the Dutch by almost 3 seconds.

“How unlucky are you that Russia is going one and a half to four seconds faster than in the final?” Said the Mantle. “Race their lives, you can’t be bored because of that. It’s just kind of unlucky.”

Dawson was late for his first Olympics after receiving a positive test for COVID-19. When he appeared after a series of negative tests, his skates and gear did not appear. He competed in his first competition on borrowed blades before getting back.

“I didn’t know I would get here first, and now I’m leaving with an Olympic medal,” Mantia said. “It’s an amazing experience I’ve had so far.”

Four years ago, the Mantle just missed the podium at the Pyeongchang Games, finishing fourth in the 1000s.

In Beijing there is still this event, where, he admits, he will need the race of his life to climb the podium, and the mass start.

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“I still feel confident in the mass start that anything can happen,” he said. “I’m definitely capable of coming out with a gold medal.”

Mantle and Jackson are former skiers from the same Ocala, Florida, hometown, who switched to ice. Both describe themselves as rats who skated for hours, honing their speed on wheels.

The mantle would want nothing more than to match Jackson’s gold with one of his. Saying that now that he had won the medal, she had nothing more to do with him, Mantle disagreed.

“I think she still is. Individual gold there is pretty high,” he said. “She can be a queen. She deserves it. “

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