Dutch do it again in Olympic speed skating

Feb. 16, 2014 at 11:45 AM
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SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- The Netherlands enjoyed another speed skating sweep at the Olympics Sunday and if a fourth medal had been awarded the Dutch would have won that one as well.

For the third time in the Sochi Games, only skaters from the Netherlands climbed onto the speed skating podium. This time it was Jorien ter Mors, Irene Wust and Lotte van Beek claiming first, second and third in the 1,500-meter race.

Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands wound up fourth.

Ter Mors won her gold after twice competing in short-track skating races at these Games, failing to win a medal in either one.

The United States' speed skating team, meanwhile, was once more shut out. No American has won a medal in speed skating at these Games and there are only four events left in which to do so.

Ter Mors set an Olympic record of 1:53.51 in giving the Dutch their fifth victory in the eight speed skating events held thus far.

There have been 24 medals awarded in the sport at the 2014 Olympics and 16 have gone to skaters from the Netherlands. That shatters the Olympic record for most speed skating medals won at a single Olympics. The old mark had been 13, which East Germany had set 1988.

The Dutch men also swept the medals at these Olympics in both the 500 and 5,000-meter races.

Ter Mors finished fourth in the short-track 1,500-meter race and was sixth in the 500. This was her first race at these Olympics on the oval.

The medal for Wust was the sixth in her Olympic career. Three have come this year, including a gold in the 3,000-meter race.

Heather Richardson had the best finish for an American, winding up seventh.

The United States is facing the possibility of being shut out of the speed skating medals for only the third time in the history of the Winter Olympics. No American won a medal in 1956 at Cortina or in 1984 at Sarajevo.

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