OLYMPICS ROUNDUP: Dutch speedskaters add to record haul
SOCHI, Russia — The Dutch added two more speedskating gold medals to their record haul and the Norwegian women revived their cross-country skiing dominance at the Sochi Olympics on Saturday.
The Netherlands won both men’s and women’s team pursuit races in speedskating, giving the Dutch eight gold medals out of 12 events, and 23 total in the sport. That’s two more golds than the Soviet Union won in speedskating in 1960, the previous record, and 10 more than East Germany’s 1988 total medals mark.
Marit Bjoergen won her sixth career gold medal by leading a Norwegian sweep in the women’s 30-kilometer cross-country race. A week ago, Norway’s heavily favored women’s relay team finished a disappointing fifth, touching off a mini-crisis in the ski-crazed Scandinavian country.
In hockey, six-time Olympian Teemu Selanne scored two goals to help Finland rout the U.S. 5-0 in the game for bronze. Canada and Sweden face off today for the gold.
Elsewhere, Russia won the 4x7.5-kilometer men’s biathlon relay to take its games-leading 11th gold medal; Mario Matt of Austria won gold in the men’s slalom; Vic Wild of Russia captured his second gold by winning the Olympic debut of men’s parallel slalom snowboarding; and Julia Dujmovits of Austria won the women’s snowboarding race.
On Day 16, the Sochi Olympics also was hit by two more doping cases. Cross-country skier Marina Lisogor of Ukraine became the third athlete to test positive for banned substances in two days. The 30-year-old Lisogor competed in two cross-country events in Sochi, and did not win a medal.
The IOC later announced that Latvian hockey player Vitalijs Pavlovs tested positive for the stimulant methylhexanamine following his team’s loss to Canada in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
SPEEDSKATING: The Dutch men’s team of Sven Kramer, Jan Blokhuijsen and Koen Verweij set an Olympic record of 3 minutes, 37.71 seconds in the team pursuit. The Netherlands also held the old record of 3:39.95, set in Vancouver four years ago. South Korea took the silver and Poland the bronze.
In the women’s race, the Netherlands trio of Ireen Wust, Marrit Leenstra and Jorien ter Mors also set an Olympic record of 2:58.05. Poland took silver and Russia bronze. Wust now has won five medals in Sochi, more than any other athlete — two golds and three silvers.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Bjoergen is now the most decorated female Winter Olympian in history with 10 total medals and six gold, including three in Sochi and three from Vancouver. Her career total puts her one ahead of Russian cross-country skier Lyubov Egorova, who had six golds and three silvers. Two other women — Stafania Belmondo of Italy and Soviet skier Raisa Smetanina — also have 10 medals, but fewer golds. Therese Johaug took silver in the 30K race, while Kristin Stoermer Steira completed the Norwegian sweep by winning bronze.
ALPINE SKIING: Matt’s victory in the men’s slalom makes him the oldest Alpine champion in Olympic history. Matt, who turns 35 in April, surpasses now-retired Norwegian great Kjetil Andre Aamodt as the oldest skier to win an Alpine race.
BIATHLON: Russian anchor Anton Shipulin beat Germany’s Simon Schempp on the final lap to give the host nation its first biathlon gold of the Sochi Games. The 4x7.5-kilometer relay was the last biathlon competition at the games. Defending champion Norway led for most of the race but dropped to fourth after anchor Emil Hegle Svendsen missed three targets in his final shooting. Germany got the silver and Austria the bronze.
SNOWBOARDING: The American-born Wild, who became a Russian citizen in 2011 after marrying Russian snowboarder Alena Zavarzina, won gold in parallel giant slalom earlier this week. Wild and another adopted Russian, former South Korean short track speedskater Viktor Ahn, have won five of Russia’s 11 gold medals in Sochi. Zan Kosir of Slovenia took silver behind Wild, and Benjamin Karl of Austria won bronze. In the women’s parallel slalom, Dujmovits edged Anke Karstens of Germany at the finish. Amelie Kober of Germany won bronze.