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WINTER OLYMPICS


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Kramer off to a fast start

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:17 a.m. HST, Feb 09, 2014


SOCHI, Russia » Sven Kramer leaped on the top step of the medal stand, unleashed a scream for the Dutch fans and defiantly pointed both index fingers.

He'd been waiting four long years for this moment.

And, still, it's not enough.

Kramer got started on his road to Olympic redemption -- and that's all it was, a start -- by claiming his second straight speedskating gold in the men's 5,000 meters Saturday.

After the runaway victory, Kramer made it clear he won't be satisfied unless he leaves Sochi with three gold medals around his neck. He's made too many blunders on the sport's biggest stage to settle for anything less.

"For sure, there was a lot of pressure," he said. "I knew I had to skate the race of my life."

That he did. The 27-year-old broke his own Olympic record with a time of 6 minutes, 10.76 seconds -- nearly five seconds ahead of teammate Jan Blokhuijsen, who took the silver. Jorrit Bergsma completed a medal sweep by the powerful Dutch team by claiming the bronze.

All three were cheered on by the king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, his wife Queen Maxima and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

"What can you say? We could never have hoped for such a great result," said the king, himself a keen speedskater. "That Sven was able to deliver despite such pressure, it leaves me speechless. What can you say, such a great Olympic record."

Kramer is determined to sweep the two longest speedskating races in Sochi and help the Dutch win the team pursuit, which he figures is the only way to make up for a series of Olympic flops that have marred his otherwise brilliant career.

His biggest blunder came four years ago at the Vancouver Games, where he made an inexplicable error in the 10,000. Directed into the wrong lane by his coach, he followed the advice for some reason and was disqualified in a race he should have won easily.

Someone asked how long it took to get over the heartache.

"It's still there, it's still there," Kramer replied. Then, he added, "In two more weeks, we'll see."

The lane fiasco wasn't his only Olympic mistake. As a teenager during the 2006 Winter Games, Kramer clipped a lane marker in team pursuit and took out his heavily favored squad. There were more problems in the pursuit four years ago, when some poor teamwork cost the Dutch another shot at gold.

No troubles this time. Kramer flew around Adler Arena with amazingly consistent laps, all falling within a range of eight-tenths of a second. He easily beat the Olympic mark of 6:14.60 he set while winning gold at Vancouver four years ago.

"I didn't expect it to come so easily," Kramer said. "I think that was one of my best races ever."

 

Paul Newberry, Associated Press

2014 WINTER OLYMPICS SCOREBOARD: SATURDAY

MEDALS TABLE
Through five medal events

Nation G S B Tot
Norway 2 1 1 4
Canada 1 1 1 3
Netherlands 1 1 1 3
United States 1 0 1 2
Austria 0 1 0 1
Sweden 0 1 0 1
Czech Republic 0 0 1 1

SATURDAY'S FINALS

BIATHLON
At Krasnaya Polyana, Russia
Men's 10km Sprint

(Penalties in parentheses)
1. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Norway, 24:33.5 (1). 2. Dominik Landertinger, Austria, 24:34.8 (0). 3. Jaroslav Soukup, Czech Republic, 24:39.2 (0).

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
At Krasnaya Polyana, Russia
Women's Skiathlon 7.5km Classic + 7.5km Free
1. Marit Bjoergen, Norway, 38:33.6.
2. Charlotte Kalla, Sweden, 38:35.4.
3. Heidi Weng, Norway, 38:46.8.

SPEEDSKATING
At Sochi, Russia
Men's 5000
(*--denotes record. old record: 6:14.60, Kramer, Vancouver, Feb. 13, 2010)
1. Sven Kramer, Netherlands, 6:10.76.*
2. Jan Blokhuijsen, Netherlands, 6:15.71.
3. Jorrit Bergsma, Netherlands, 6:16.66.

FREESTYLE SKIING
At Krasnaya Polyana, Russia
Women's moguls
1. Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Canada, 22.44. 2. Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, Canada, 21.66. 3. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, Vt., 21.49.

SNOWBOARD
At Krasnaya Polyana, Russia
Men's Slopestyle
1. Sage Kotsenburg, Park City, Utah, (93.50; 83.25) 93.50. 2. Staale Sandbech, Norway, (27.00; 91.75) 91.75. 3. Mark McMorris, Canada, (33.75; 88.75) 88.75.

HOW U.S. OLYMPIANS FARED
BIATHLON
Men's 10km Sprint
(Penalties in parentheses)
19. Tim Burke, Paul Smiths, N.Y., 25:23.3 (1). 35. Lowell Bailey, Lake Placid, N.Y., 26:04.1 (2). 45. Leif Nordgren, Marine on St. Croix, Minn., 26:17.4 (0). 61. Russell Currier, Stockholm, Maine, 26:58.5 (4).

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
Women's Skiathlon 7.5km Classic + 7.5km Free
8. Jessie Diggins, Afton, Minn., 40:05.5. 12. Liz Stephen, East Montpelier, Vt., 40:09.6. 31. Sadie Bjornsen, Winthrop, Wash., 41:09.7. 47. Holly Brooks, Anchorage, Alaska, 42:34.0.

FIGURE SKATING
Team Event
Ice Dance Short Program
1. Meryl Davis, West Bloomfield, Mich., and Charlie White, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., 75.98.
Women's Short Program
4. Ashley Wagner, Alexandria, Va., 63.10 (Q). Standings--3. United States, 27 (Q).
Pairs Free Program
Final round:•4. Marissa Castelli, Cranston, R.I., and Simon Shnapir, Sudbury, Mass., 117.94. Standings: 3. United States, 34.

FREESTYLE SKIING
Women's Moguls
Qualifying Run 2: 6. Heather McPhie, Bozeman, Mont., (14, 19.92; 6, 18.85) 18.85 (q). NR. Heidi Kloser, Vail, Colo., DNS. Ranking--1. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, Vt., 23.05 (Q). 4. Eliza Outtrim, Hamden, Conn., 21.51 (Q). 16. Heather McPhie, Bozeman, Mont., (14, 19.92; 6, 18.85) 18.85 (q). NR. Heidi Kloser, Vail, Colo., DNS.
Finals: Run 1--2. Eliza Outtrim, Hamden, Conn., 21.81 (Q). 7. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, Vt., 20.95 (Q). 13. Heather McPhie, Bozeman, Mont., 20.05. Run 2--1. Hannah Kearney, Norwich, Vt., 21.93 (Q). 5. Eliza Outtrim, Hamden, Conn., 21.53 (Q).
Medal Run: 3. (BRONZE) Hannah Kearney, Norwich, Vt., 21.49. 6. Eliza Outtrim, Hamden, Conn., 19.37.

LUGE
Men's Singles
After Two Runs: 13. Chris Mazdzer, Saranac Lake, N.Y., 1:45.387. 23. Tucker West, Ridgefield, Conn., 1:46.108. 26. Aidan Kelly, West Islip, N.Y., 1:46.467.

SKI JUMPING
Men's Individual
K90 Qualification (normal hill): 26. Anders Johnson, Park City, Utah (92.5, 55.0, 51.5) 107.9. 35. Peter Frenette, Saranac Lake, N.Y. (93.0, 56.0, 52.0) 105.3. 40. Nick Alexander, Lebanon, N.H. (90.0, 50.0, 49.0) 100.7. Did not qualify--50. Nick Fairall, Andover, N.H. (80.5, 31.0, 44.5) 77.3.

SNOWBOARD
Men's Slopestyle
(Start position in parentheses)
Semifinals: Run 1--2. (14) Sage Kotsenburg, Park City, Utah, 89.00. 4. (12) Ryan Stassel, Anchorage, Alaska, 83.25. 20. (21) Chas Guldemond, Laconia, N.H., 13.25. Run 2--1. (14) Sage Kotsenburg, Park City, Utah, (89.00; 90.50) 90.50.
4. (12) Ryan Stassel, Anchorage, Alaska, (83.25; 81.75) 81.75. 6. (21) Chas Guldemond, Laconia, N.H., (13.25; 79.75) 79.75. Ranking--2. Sage Kotsenburg, Park City, Utah, (89.00; 90.50) 90.50 (Q). 6. Ryan Stassel, Anchorage, Alaska, (83.25; 81.75) 83.25. 7. Chas Guldemond, Laconia, N.H., (13.25; 79.75) 79.75.
Finals: Run 1--1. (3) Sage Kotsenburg, Park City, Utah, 93.50. Run 2--5. (3) Sage Kotsenburg, Park City, Utah, (93.50; 83.25) 83.25. Final Ranking--1. (GOLD) Sage Kotsenburg, Park City, Utah, (93.50; 83.25) 93.50.

SPEEDSKATING
Men's 5000
16. Emery Lehman, Oak Park, Ill., 6:29.94. 19. Jonathan Kuck, Champaign, Ill., 6:31.53. 20. Patrick Meek, Northbrook, Ill., 6:32.94.

SCORES
WOMEN'S HOCKEY
United States 3, Finland 1
Canada 5, Switzerland 0

TODAY'S SCHEDULE
BIATHLON
Women's 7.5km Sprint, 4:30 a.m.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
Men's 15km/15km Skiathlon, midnight

FIGURE SKATING
Men's Team free program, 5 a.m.
Women's Team free program, 6:05 a.m.
Ice Dance Team free dance, 8:10 a.m.

ICE HOCKEY
Women
Group B: Russia vs. Germany, 3 a.m.

LUGE
Men's Singles (Run 3), 4:30 a.m.
Men's Singles (Run 4), 6:40 a.m.

SKI JUMPING
Men's Individual (normal hill) First Round, 7:30 a.m.
Men's Individual (normal hill) Final, 8:30 a.m.

SPEEDSKATING
Women's 3000, 1:30 a.m.






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