Men’s mass start
The men’s semifinal is first on the slate.
Mantia, the reigning world champion as he was entering the 2018 Winter Olympics, finished ninth in PyeongChang and is still searching for his first individual medal. The 36-year-old was part of the bronze medal-winning U.S. team pursuit squad this year.
Mantia is one of two American men in the competition. The other is Ian Quinn, a 28-year-old who is sixth in the World Cup standings and making his Olympic debut.
Defending silver medalist Bart Swings from Belgium returns as the current World Cup standings leader. He is a former inline skater like Mantia and is a contender to earn Belgium’s first Winter Olympic gold medal in 74 years.
The event will be the last in Dutch skater Sven Kramer’s illustrious career. He owns nine Olympic medals, the most by a male speed skater. His season has been marred by a back injury that led to surgery in May. Kramer finished ninth in the men’s 5000m.