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Kramer leads Olympic sweep for the Netherlands

Feb. 8, 2014 at 9:54 AM
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SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Sven Kramer achieved half of his Olympic goal Saturday, winning the 5,000-meter speed skating race in record fashion and leading a Netherlands sweep.

Kramer dominated the competition, just as he has over 5,000 meters during the last two World Cup seasons. He has been unbeaten in that span and he also successfully defended the title he won four years ago in Vancouver.

After winning the 5,000 meters in 2010, however, he was disqualified in the 10,000-meter race for an improper lane change. He will try to make up for that disappointment when the 10,000-meter event is held next week.

Kramer was clocked in the Olympic record time of 6:10.76 on an ice surface that did not yield particularly quick performances for the other skaters.

Regardless of the times, the Netherlands celebrated the first medal sweep of an Olympic speed skating race since the Albertville Games of 1992.

Jan Blokhuijsen finished second, 4.95 seconds behind Kramer, and Jorrit Bergsma came in third. Bergsma trailed the winner by 5.90 seconds.

Defending silver medalist Seung Hoon Lee of South Korea finished 12th and the bronze medal winner from Vancouver, Russia's Ivan Skobrev, wound up seventh.

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