Bergsma’s Olympic frustrations continue in 500-meter race

The High Point native, who arrived in Pyeonchang as a medal hopeful, placed 11th Saturday in her third race of the Games

High Point native Heather Richardson Bergsma competes in the women's 500-meter speedskating event at the Pyeongchang Olympics (REUTERS/Phil Noble)

  The Olympic frustrations of High Point native Heather Richardson Bergsma continued Saturday with an 11th-place finish in the women’s 500 meter event in Pyeongchang.

  The former inline skater, who is married to Dutch gold medalist Jorrit Bergsma and now trains in the Netherlands, was considered a medal favorite after winning both the 1,000 and 1,500 at the 2017 World Championships and going undefeated in the 1,000 during the 2016-17 season, but has not finished higher than eighth in her first three races.

  She has one more event remaining, the newly created mass start race next Saturday, although there is a chance she can be selected for the team pursuit event on Monday.

  Bergsma, skating in the eighth of 16 pairs, finished her heat in a time of 38.13. Japan’s Nao Kodaira won the gold medal in an Olympic record time of 36.94. Lee Sang-Hwa of South Korea took the silver medal while Karolina Erbanova of the Czech Republic won bronze.

  Brittany Bowe was the highest finishing American with a fifth place finish.

  This is the third time Bergsma has competed in the 500 in Olympic competition. She finished sixth in the event in 2010 at Vancouver and sixth four years ago in Sochi.