Photos and Highlights of the Beijing Olympics

Gabriela Bhaskar

Credit…Photographs by Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times

Claudia Pechstein skated in the first pair of speedskating’s 3,000-meter race, which only seemed courteous since, after all, she had held the Olympic record in the event since 2002. Germany’s Pechstein is no longer much of a medal contender at age 49, the oldest female athlete in Olympic history. And now her record is gone, too: Irene Schouten of the Netherlands claimed it, and the gold medal, with a blazing last lap. It may not be Schouten’s last medal, or her last record, either: She could win as many as four in Beijing.

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