Only speed skater Natalia Czerwonka just barely lived up to fans’ expectations on Monday.
She finished ninth in the women’s 1,500-metre speed skating event, with a time of 1:57.85, a gaping 3.50 seconds behind the gold medal winner, Ireen Wuest of the Netherlands.
Two other Poles, Katarzyna Bachleda-Curuś and Luiza Złotkowska, performed below their usual standards. Bachleda-Curuś, a veteran speed skater thinking of retiring from the sport, was 13th, while Złotkowska was 17th, inspiring little hope ahead of a team competition later in the Games.
Miho Takagi of Japan grabbed the silver, after clocking a time of 1:54.55, while Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands took bronze with 1:55.26.
In the women’s biathlon, Polish competitors again disappointed fans after their uninspiring performance in the 7.5 km sprint on Saturday.
The best of them, Weronika Nowakowska, finished a distant 30th in the 10 km pursuit race on Monday. Krystyna Guzik was 36th, Monika Hojnisz placed 43rd, and Magdalena Gwizdoń, the oldest member of the Polish Olympic team in South Korea, was 49th among 60 competitors.
Laura Dahlmeier of Germany won the 10 km pursuit, with a time of 30:35.3, claiming her second gold medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics. Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia took the silver, while France’s Anais Bescond won bronze.
In the men’s 12.5 km biathlon pursuit, Grzegorz Guzik, the only Pole to qualify for the race, finished a distant 56th, 6 minutes 15 seconds behind the gold medal winner, Martin Fourcade of France, who clocked in at 32:51.7.
Sweden’s Sebastian Samuelsson took the silver, and Germany’s Benedikt Doll claimed the bronze.
Meanwhile, two Polish women lugers, Ewa Kuls-Kusyk and Natalia Wojtuściszyn, were both outside the top 20 halfway through the competition on Monday.
Kuls-Kusyk was 22nd after the first two runs, 1.516 seconds behind the leader, Natalie Geisenberger of Germany, while Wojtuściszyn was 26th, losing 3.415 seconds.
Source: TVP, Eurosport, PAP