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Bergsma breaks Olympic record to lead fourth Dutch medal sweep

English.news.cn   2014-02-19 07:27:35

SOCHI, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Jorrit Bergsma broke the Olympic record of the men's 10,000 speed skating here on Tuesday to lead a record fourth medal sweep of the Netherlands at the Sochi Winter Games.

No NOC had previously swept the podium more than twice at a single Winter Games, but the Dutch skaters have now dominated the podiums in the men's 10,000m, 5,000m, men's 500m and women's 1,500m.

Crossing the finish line in 12 minutes and 44.45 seconds, Bergsma bettered the previous Olympic record of 12:58.55 set by South Korea's Lee Seung-hoon at the Vancouver Winter Games four years ago and became the third reigning world champion in the men's 10,000m to win Olympic gold in this event after compatriots Bob De Jong in 2006 and Gianni Romme in 1998.

"It is a fantastic feeling, I knew with my current shape I could do it, but these are the Olympic Games, you have to cope with the pressure and control your nerves," said Bergsma. "I knew with a good race I would win here. I watched Sven, he held on for a very long time, but finally he broke."

Finishing 4.57 seconds behind Bergsma to take the silver, Sven Kramer equaled the Dutch record of six Olympic medals held by Rintje Ritsma and Ireen Wust, but the gold was what he had raced for.

"Being satisfied with silver place is not my view on top sport," said Kramer, who had claimed his second Olympic gold medal in the 5,000m race ten days ago. "That is not why I train, that is not why I race. I race to win."

"I knew when I started that Jorrit set a really fast time. He just did a really good job," he added. "My race just was not good enough. I couldn't find the rhythm and I couldn't find the flow. I'm in good shape, but today too many little things were going wrong. I knew to have a chance to win I needed to skate lap times in the 29 seconds, but I could not do that."

The bronze medal went to De Jong, who was timed at 13:07.19 to become the first male speed skater to win at least one medal at four different Olympic Winter Games. Aged 37 years and 97 days, the Dutch skater also became the second oldest medal speed skater to win an Olympic medal and the oldest in 86 years, since Julius Skutnabb of Finland took the silver in the 5,000m in 1928 (at 38 years and 246 days).

Despite the medal, the veteran skater was unhappy with his performance.

"This was a race to simply forget, I don't expect to win a medal. It wasn't the race I had in mind and I didn't achieve my estimated lap time as I expected," he said. "It's not a race that is worth all the investments that I made, it's not a race I came to Sochi for."

South Korea's Lee Seung-hoon, the defending Olympic champion in this event, was fourth at 13:11.68.

Editor: Luan
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