Shani Davis takes a breather after competing in the men’s 1,000-meter speedskating rac. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

American Shani Davis, 31, failed to win a medal in his signature event, the 1,000 meters, Wednesday at the Sochi Olympics.

Davis, 31, the two-time and defending champion at the distance, was attempting to make history as the first male speedskater to win the same event at three consecutive Olympics. But his time, one minute, 09.12 seconds, was eighth-fastest among the 40 skaters who competed.

Dutch record-holder Stefan Groothuis, a six-time national champion, took gold with his time of 1:08.39.

Canada’s Denny Morrison took silver (1:08.43). And Michel Mulder of the Netherlands, who won gold in the 500 earlier in the week, won the bronze (1:08.74.

In missing the podium, Davis, a four-time Olympic medalist, became the latest high-profile American to fall short of expectations in Sochi. On Saturday, 36-year-old Bode Miller came up short in Saturday’s men’s downhill, finishing eighth. And Monday, Shaun White, the odds-on favorite to become the first U.S man to win gold in the same event at three consecutive Winter Olympics, slid on the halfpipe instead and finished just off the podium, in fourth.

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Photos from Day 5 | Daily TV schedule | U.S. medal winners