Canadian long-track speedskater Ted-Jan Bloemen fell well short of returning to the podium in the men’s 5,000 metres on Sunday at the Beijing Olympics.

Bloemen, from Calgary, finished 10th in six minutes 19.11 seconds, fading down the stretch after being in a medal position early in the race.

“I fully executed my race plan. I started out really well and I don’t know what happened,” Bloemen told CBC. “I’m really confused, I don’t understand it. I don’t know what to say.”

The 35-year-old Bloemen finished second in this event four years ago in Pyeongchang and also captured gold in the 10,000 metres.

Bloemen had a silver and a bronze on the World Cup circuit at 5,000 metres this season, but also slipped to eighth at a stop in Salt Lake City.

Sweden’s Nils van der Poel won gold on Sunday with an Olympic record (6:08.84).

Patrick Roest of the Netherlands was second and Hallgeir Engebraaten of Norway was third.

Another 2018 Canadian Olympic medallist, Laurie Blouin, also could not return to the podium on Sunday as she settled for fourth in the women’s snowboard slopestyle. She was second four years ago.

Canada is stuck on two medals in Beijing — a bronze from Isabelle Weidemann in women’s 3,000 metre long-track speedskating and a silver from Mikael Kingsbury in men’s moguls.

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