Tuesday's Olympic Highlights

Feb. 18, 2014 at 3:29 PM
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SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Highlights from Tuesday's action at the Winter Olympics:

-- The speed skating haul being put together by the Netherlands will perhaps last in the Olympic record book as long as there is one. Until the Sochi Games, the most medals ever won by one country in one sport at one Olympics was 14. That is how many medals Austria won in alpine skiing at Turin eight years ago. The Dutch skaters have now medaled 19 times, the last three coming Tuesday in the men's 10,000-meter race. It was the fourth medal sweep of the Sochi Olympics for the Dutch.

-- The 10,000-meter speed skating race created one of the biggest surprises of the Olympics because it was not won by Sven Kramer. He had captured the 5,000-meter race and was a heavy favorite at the longer distance. Jorrit Bergsma competed before Kramer and turned in an Olympic record time of 12:44.45. Kramer then went out and was on pace to easily better that time, but he slowed over the final 2,800 meters and finished more than four seconds slower. Kramer settled for the silver and Bob de Jong completed the medal sweep.

-- All of those medals brings the Netherlands' total to 20 for the Sochi Olympics. That is the same number won by the United States. Russia has 19, Norway has 18 and Canada has 17. Germany still leads the way in golds with eight, one more than Norway and two more than the Netherlands and the United States.

-- The sixth gold medal of the Olympics for the Americans was won by David Wise in freestyle skiing halfpipe, the first time the event had been contested. Wise had a tremendous performance in his first run of the final, which he made as a daylong snowfall continued to drift down in the mountains.

-- Tuesday's outdoor action began with Tina Maze of Slovenia winning her second gold medal of the Olympics in the giant slalom. She held on after putting together the best time in the opening round. American Mikaela Shiffrin, a month short of her 19th birthday and making her Olympic debut, finished fifth. Shiffrin leads the World Cup slalom standings and the slalom event will be held on Friday.

-- The women's team from South Korea won the short-track relay for the fourth time in five Olympics. The Koreans crossed the finish line first four years ago, but were disqualified and the gold medal went to China. The Chinese were disqualified on Tuesday and it cost them a silver medal.

-- Four hockey games were contested that created the matchups for Wednesday's quarterfinals. Russia scored two late goals to get past Norway 4-0, setting up a meeting with Finland. Slovenia's 4-0 decision over Austria brought about a game with Sweden, the Czech Republic will now face the United States thanks to a 5-3 victory over Slovakia and Latvia pulled off a surprising 3-1 decision over Switzerland to establish a date with Canada.

-- It is common to see skiers who have put a great deal into their effort begin celebrating before they reach the finish line. Emil Hegle Svendsen did so at the end of the mass start biathlon race and it almost cost him the gold medal. As Svendsen raised his arms in triumph, France's Martin Fourcade put on a closing burst and lunged his left ski forward in an attempt to nip Svendsen at the line. Svendsen glided to the finish unaware of what was happening, but suddenly realized that he might not have won after all. A photo showed Svendsen had scored the narrowest of victories, even though the first two finishers had the same time.

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